A randomized double-blind clinical trial with two different doses of arginine enhanced enteral nutrition in postsurgical cancer patients.Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2010; 14(11):941-5ER
Patients with head and neck cancer undergoing surgery have a high incidence of postoperative complications. The aim of our study was to investigate whether postoperative nutrition of head and neck cancer patients, using an enteral high dose of arginine (20 g per day) vs a medium dose (12.3 g per day) could improve nutritional variables as well as clinical outcome.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A population of 115 patients with oral and laryngeal cancer was enrolled. At surgery patients were randomly allocated to two groups: group I (58 patients) received an enteral diet supplements with a high dose of arginine (20 g per day) and group II (57 patients) received an isocaloric, isonitrogenous enteral formula with a medium dose of arginine (12.3 g per day).
Gastrointestinal tolerance (diarrhea) of both formulas was good (3.44% group I and 3.51% group II: ns). The postoperative infections complications were similar in both groups (8.6% group I and 12.2% group II: ns). Fistula was less frequent in enriched nutrition group (3.4% group I and 10.5% group II: p = 0.006). The length of postoperative stay was similar in both groups (27.2 +/- 17.8 days in group I vs 25.7 +/- 18.8 days in group II: ns).
Enriched arginine formula improves fistula wound complications in postoperative head and neck cancer patients. Our results suggest that these patients could benefit from a high dose of arginine enhanced enteral formula.