Evaluation of nutritional status in patients with liver cirrhosis


Fatma Houissa
Mohamed Salem
Radhouan Debbeche
Leila Mouelhi
Slim Bouzaidi
Majd Ben Rejeb
Haiffa Mekki
Amel Moussa
Yosra Said
Senda Trabelsi
Taoufik Najjar


Background: Malnutrition is a frequently reported complication in patients with liver cirrhosis. It has a high clinical and economic impact reflected by an increased morbidity and prolonged hospital stay.
Aim :This preliminary prospective study aimed to determine the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized cirrhotic patients and to investigate whether biological and anthropometric parameters are a valuable tool for identifying malnutrition in these patients.
Methods: The nutritional status of 44 consecutive cirrhotic patients (21 men, 23 women) was assessed according to the anthropometric measurements and biochemical analysis. The diagnosis of malnutrition was based on diminished values of Mid arm muscle circumference (MAMC) and/or Triceps skinfold thikness (TST) below the 5th percentile or less than 60%.
Results: The aetiology of cirrhosis was viral hepatitis in 29 patients (66%). Cirrhosis was classified Child Pugh A, B or C in respectively9, 26 and 9 patients; 37 patients (84%) have mild or tense ascite. In this study, malnutrition was found in 35 patients (79.5%), whereas 9 patients has a good nutritional status. TST and MAMC less than 60% was found in respectively 72% and 25% of patients. No significant statistical difference in epidemiological characteristics was found between malnourished and well-nourished patients. TST and MAMC decreased significantly according to the Child score (p= 0.014 and 0.032 respectively; a positive correlation was found between these two parameters and the severity of cirrhosis.
Conclusion: In this study, the high prevalence of denutrition was associated with the severity of cirrhosis. Anthropometric parameters are valuable tools for malnutrition diagnosis.


Malnutrition, Anthropometric parameters, Cirrhosis



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