Effect of three different doses of arginine enhanced enteral nutrition on nutritional status and outcomes in well nourished postsurgical cancer patients: a randomized single blinded prospective trial.Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 19(6):950-5.ER
Patients with head and neck cancer undergoing surgery have a high occurrence of postoperative complications. The aim of our study was to investigate whether postoperative nutrition of head and neck cancer patients, using an enhanced enteral formula with three different doses of arginine could improve nutritional variables as well as clinical outcome, depending of arginine dose.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
A population of 84 patients with oral and laryngeal cancer was enrolled. At surgery patients were randomly assigned to three different treatment groups, each one containing at less 28 patients. Group I (28 patients) received an enteral diet supplements with a low physiological dose of arginine (5.7 g per day), group II (28 patients) received an isocaloric, isonitrogenous enteral formula with a medium dose of arginine (12.3 g per day) and group III (28 patients) received an isocaloric, isonitrogenous enteral formula with a high dose of arginine (18.9 g per day).
The length of postoperative stay had a trend to be better with high dose of arginine received (31.9 ± 17.2 days in group I vs 27.8 ± 15.2 days in group II vs 24.8 ± 18.3 days in group III: p = 0.034). No differences were detected in postoperative infections complications and diarrhea. Fistula was less frequent in groups II and III than I (10.7% group I vs 3.6% group II vs 3.6% group III: p = 0.033), The length of postoperative stay had a trend to be better with high dose of arginine received (31.9 ± 17.2 days in group I vs 27.8 ± 15.2 days in group II vs 24.8 ± 18.3 days in group III: p = 0.034).
Our results suggest that these patients could benefit from a high dose of arginine enhanced enteral formula to decrease length of hospital stay and fistula wound complications.