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Z Gastroenterol. 2014 Jun;52(6):593-600. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1366430. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

[Refeeding syndrome: a review of the literature].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Nephrologie, Augusta Krankenanstalten Bochum.
Medizinische Klinik I, Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.


The refeeding syndrome is a dangerous condition, which may even lead to death. The syndrome occurs after re-establishment of adequate nutrition in malnourished and cachectic patients. More specifically its occurrence has been reported during oral, enteral and parenteral feeding. Early diagnosis is crucial for adequate and timely therapy. However, due to a lack of knowledge in the community this is not always achieved. The leading symptom is hypophosphatemia, often accompanied by electrolyte disturbances and vitamin and trace element deficiencies. Due to a concomitant administration of carbohydrates and intravenous fluid volume it may also lead to hypervolemia with cardiac failure. Compromise of other organ functions with a varying degree of severity, even leading to death, have been reported. The most efficient prevention of the refeeding syndrom is recommended by an early identification of patients at risk and the administration of an initially lower caloric nutrition accompanied by a tight and regularly scheduled observation of relevant laboratory parameters.


This literature research included the following terms: "refeeding syndrome" and "hypophosphataemia" including the 2006 guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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