Nutritional support in children undergoing bone marrow transplantation.Clin Nutr 1998; 17(2):57-63CN
Nutritional status and 'well-being' were compared prospectively in 39 children (mean age 8.1 years) who received nutritional support following bone marrow transplantion (BMT): 20 received enteral tube feeding (ETF; six received parenteral nutrition [PN] subsequently) and 19 with oral mucositis received PN (one received ETF subsequently). Poor nutritional status (height for age and/or weight for height and/or mid-arm circumference z-scores <-1) was present in 18 patients and was associated with a longer hospital stay (P = 0. 01). Both ETF and PN groups were comparable with respect to age, pretransplant nutritional status and conditioning regimens. No significant deterioration in anthropometric indices in either group occurred following BMT. However, significant correlations were found between the duration of ETF (and not PN) and improvements in nutritional status. Furthermore, PN was associated with more frequent exocrine pancreatic insufficiency than ETF (P = 0.001). Oral mucositis was associated with poorer 'well being' at the start of PN compared with ETF (P < 0.0001), but this was reversed by the end of PN. Bone marrow recovery, hospital stay and positive blood cultures were similar in the two groups. Hypomagnesaemia, hypophosphataemia and biochemical zinc deficiency were common in both groups but hypoalbuminaemia and biochemical selenium deficiency were worse in the PN group. In conclusion, both ETF and PN are effective in maintaining nutritional status post-BMT. When ETF is tolerated, it is associated with better nutritional response. With the existing ETF and PN regimens close monitoring of the trace element and mineral status is required.