Protein-calorie malnutrition is common in chronic liver disease (CLD) but adequate clinical tools for nutritional assessment are not defined.
In CLD patients, it was aimed: 1. Characterize protein-calorie malnutrition; 2. Compare several clinical, anthropometric and functional tools; 3. Study the association malnutrition/CLD severity and malnutrition/outcome.
Observational, prospective study. Consecutive CLD ambulatory/hospitalised patients were recruited from 01-03-2012 to 31-08-2012, studied according with age, gender, etiology, alcohol consumption and CLD severity defined by Child-Turcotte-Pugh. Nutritional assessment used subjective global assessment, anthropometry, namely body-mass index (BMI), triceps skinfold, mid upper arm circumference, mid arm muscular circumference and handgrip strength. Patients were followed during two years and survival data was recorded.
A total of 130 CLD patients (80 men), aged 22-89 years (mean 60 years) were included. Most suffered from alcoholic cirrhosis (45%). Hospitalised patients presented more severe disease ( P <0.001) and worst nutritional status defined by BMI ( P =0.002), mid upper arm circumference ( P <0.001), mid arm muscular circumference ( P <0.001), triceps skinfold ( P =0.07) and subjective global assessment ( P <0.001). A third presented deficient/low handgrip strength. Alcohol consumption ( P =0.03) and malnutrition detected by BMI ( P =0.03), mid upper arm circumference ( P =0.001), triceps skinfold ( P =0.06), mid arm muscular circumference ( P =0.02) and subjective global assessment ( P <0.001) were associated with CLD severity. From 25 patients deceased during follow-up, 17 patients were severely malnourished according with triceps skinfold. Malnutrition defined by triceps skinfold predicted mortality ( P <0.001).
Protein-calorie malnutrition is common in CLD patients and alcohol plays an important role. Triceps skinfold is the most efficient anthropometric parameter and is associated with mortality. Nutritional assessment should be considered mandatory in the routine care of CLD patients.
Liver cirrhosis; complications; Protein-energy malnutrition; Skinfold thickness; Avaliação nutricional