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Adductor pollicis muscle as predictor of malnutrition in surgical patients

Background -

In the compromised nutritional status, there is excessive skeletal muscle loss and decreased inflammatory response, contributing to increased morbidity and mortality and length of stay.


To estimate the prevalence of malnutrition by measuring adductor pollicis muscle using cutoffs for surgical patients suggested in the literature.


Cross-sectional study with 151 patients scheduled for elective surgical procedure. Nutritional assessment was performed by classical anthropometric measurements: arm circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, arm muscle circumference, corrected arm muscle area, BMI and percentage of weight loss and the extent of the adductor pollicis muscle in both hands.


The prevalence of malnutrition in patients was high. A significant association between nutritional diagnosis according to the measures of adductor pollicis muscle and arm circumference, BMI and triceps skinfold thickness but there was no association with arm muscular circumference, arm muscular area or percentage of weight loss.


The adductor pollicis muscle has proved to be a good method to diagnose muscle depletion and malnutrition in surgical patients.

Nutritional status; Adults; Surgery

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