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Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;25(2):285-94. Epub 2006 May 16.

ESPEN Guidelines on Enteral Nutrition: Liver disease.

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  • 1Department Internal Medicine, Staedtisches Klinikum, Dessau, Germany.


Enteral nutrition (EN) by means of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and tube feeding (TF) offers the possibility to increase or to insure nutrient intake in case of insufficient oral food intake. The present guideline is intended to give evidence-based recommendations for the use of ONS and TF in patients with liver disease (LD). It was developed by an interdisciplinary expert group in accordance with officially accepted standards and is based on all relevant publications since 1985. The guideline was discussed and accepted in a consensus conference. EN by means of ONS is recommended for patients with chronic LD in whom undernutrition is very common. ONS improve nutritional status and survival in severely malnourished patients with alcoholic hepatitis. In patients with cirrhosis, TF improves nutritional status and liver function, reduces the rate of complications and prolongs survival. TF commenced early after liver transplantation can reduce complication rate and cost and is preferable to parenteral nutrition. In acute liver failure TF is feasible and used in the majority of patients.

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