[Changes in protein repletion markers in undernourished patients receiving enteral nutrition and its relation with energy and nitrogen balance].Rev Med Chil 1995; 123(9):1091-7RM
To study the relationship between the changes in protein repletion indicators and calorie and nitrogen balance in undernourished patients receiving enteral nutrition.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Fourteen patients (11 female, age range 55-85 years old) with an initial serum albumin below 3.5 g/dl or serum transferrin below 200 mg/dl, which received enteral nutrition, were studied. On days one and ten of nutritional support, indirect calorimetry, nitrogen balance and serum levels of albumin, transferrin, pre-albumin and total lymphocyte count were measured.
Initial resting energy expenditure was 25.1 +/- 5 Kcal/kg/day (115.4 +/- 20% of that predicted by Harris Benedict equations) and urinary urea nitrogen 5.4 +/- 3.7 g/day. Initial and final nitrogen balances were 66.9 +/- 71 and 81.4 +/- 105.9 mg N/kg/day and mean energy balance throughout the study was +9.0 +/- 7.2 Kcal/kg/day. During the ten days of nutritional support, albumin improved significantly in 0.35 +/- 0.43 g/dl (15.2 +/- 19.8%). Transferrin, pre-albumin and total lymphocyte count did not change significantly. The changes in these last parameters did not correlate with nitrogen or calorie balance.
Probably other factors, besides nutritional balances, influence serum protein levels and these may not change despite an adequate nutritional repletion.