Calculated nitrogen balance in hemodialysis patients: influence of protein intake.Kidney Int. 2000 Jul; 58(1):336-45.KI
Optimal nutrient intake is important in the maintenance of a positive nitrogen balance in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the influence of two levels of protein intakes on nitrogen balance in stable adult HD patients, and (2) to identify a minimum level of protein intake that would result in a negative nitrogen balance, so that preliminary recommendations may be made in Indian patients on maintenance HD (MHD).
Stable, adult, nondiabetic MHD patients were recruited after informed consent into a cross over trial with a high-protein (HP) diet [1.2 g/kg ideal body weight (IBW)/day), followed by a low-protein (LP) diet (0.6 g/kg IBW/day] after appropriate periods of equilibration; for both diets, 50% of protein was of high biological value, and calorie intake was 35 kCal/kg IBW/day. Duplicate meals and residues were weighed, homogenized, and stored at -20 degrees C for analysis of dietary N by the Kjeldahl method, used to check the consistency of the N content of the diet supplied. Pre- and post- (30-minute equilibrated) blood urea samples were drawn, and details of weights and other HD parameters were recorded. Interdialytic urine collections for urea were obtained. N input came from dietary protein calculated as 16% of the weight of biological protein; N output was calculated using blood-side urea measurements and urinary urea excretion and was the sum of urea N (UN) and nonurea N (NUN) losses (assumed to be equal to 0.031 g N/kg/day).
Fifteen patients were recruited. Twelve patients completed both limbs of the study. The mean age was 30.3 +/- 12.7 years. The body mass index was 18.9 +/- 2.4. Serum albumin was 3.8 +/- 0.35 g/dL, and Kt/V (equilibrated) was 1.17 +/- 0.3 g/dL. Protein consumed was 1.06 +/- 0.18 g/kg IBW/day in the HP limb versus 0.61 +/- 0.1 g/kg IBW/day in the LP limb (P = 0.000). Energy intake was 33 +/- 6.5 vs. 32.8 +/- 6. 7 kCal/kg IBW/day, respectively (P = 0.8). The normalized protein N appearance (nPNA) was 0.88 +/- 0.2 g/kg/day in the HP limb versus 0. 78 +/- 0.2 g/kg/day in the LP limb (P = 0.02). Dietary N was 73.5 +/- 15.3 g in the HP week and 42.5 +/- 7.5 g in the LP week (P = 0. 000). The difference between this and the sum of (UN + NUN) losses over the week was 29 +/- 13.2 g versus 1.2 +/- 8.1 g, respectively (P = 0.001), showing a strong, uniformly positive nitrogen balance with HP diet and neutral to negative nitrogen balance with LP diet. The ratio of dietary protein intake (DPI) to nPNA was significantly lower (anabolic) in the HP limb (0.7 +/- 0.2 vs. 1.12 +/- 0.3, P = 0. 000). On a scatter plot of nPNA to DPI, a catabolic relationship was demonstrated below a DPI of 0.75 g/kg/day (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.85 g/kg/day).
A DPI of approximately 1.1 g/kg/day produces a positive nitrogen balance and 0.6 g/kg/day a neutral to negative nitrogen balance, demonstrating protein anabolism as a function of protein intake. It is suggested that a protein intake of 0.85 g/kg/day should be considered unsafe. These conclusions apply in stable nondiabetic adult HD patients in the setting of adequate dialysis and adequate calorie intake.