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Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011;2011. pii: 410971. doi: 10.1155/2011/410971. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Refeeding syndrome: a literature review.

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The Combined Gastroenterology Research Unit, Scarborough Hospital, Woodland Drive, Scarborough YO12 6QL, UK.


Refeeding syndrome (RFS) describes the biochemical changes, clinical manifestations, and complications that can occur as a consequence of feeding a malnourished catabolic individual. RFS has been recognised in the literature for over fifty years and can result in serious harm and death. Crude estimates of incidence, morbidity, and mortality are available for specific populations. RFS can occur in any individual but more commonly occurs in at-risk populations. Increased awareness amongst healthcare professionals is likely to reduce morbidity and mortality. This review examines the physiology of RFS and describes the clinical manifestations. A management strategy is described. The importance of a multidisciplinary approach is emphasized.

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