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Clin Nephrol. 2017 Supplement 1;88(13):65-68. doi: 10.5414/CNP88FX16.

Impact of short-term nutritional supplementation on surrogate markers of undernutrition in hemodialysis patients - prospective real-life interventional study.



Hemodialysis (HD) patients are at increased risk for undernutrition, especially protein wasting. We present the results of a prospective study in HD patients after 4 months of intervention with oral nutritional supplements (ONS).


After a 3-month wash-out period, 92 HD patients were enrolled in the study. Patients were tested for undernutrition with composite parameters, laboratory tests, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and hand-grip strength test (HGS). All patients fulfilling criteria for, or at high risk of, undernutrition were given ONS in addition to their regular diet. The impact of short-term ONS on surrogate markers of undernutrition was statistically analyzed.


Data for 84 patients, 45 (53.6%) male, average age 63.3 years, were available for analysis after 4 months. Patients were divided into three groups: group A (n = 28), patients with normal nutritional status (NUS) at baseline not necessitating ONS; group B (n = 43), patients entitled to receive ONS; group C (n = 13), patients entitled to receive but refused to take ONS. In group B patients, received on average 4.1 bottles of ONS (902 mL; 1,623.6 kcal; 73.06 g protein) per week. Baseline results showed statistically-significant differences between groups in serum albumin levels and phase angle (PhA) but not in HGS. After 4 months of ONS, we noticed stagnation of observed markers in group B. Interestingly, in group A, significant deterioration of serum albumin and PhA was observed, but HGS improved. There was a trend towards worsening of serum albumin levels and HGS in group C not reaching statistical significance.


In undernourished HD patients after ONS we did not find statistically-significant improvement of NUS evaluating surrogate markers. Nevertheless, in undernourished patients not receiving ONS, serum albumin and HGS showed a trend towards worsening, and even in well-nourished patients, nutritional markers (serum albumin and PhA) declined. We speculate that a certain positive effect of ONS on nutritional status in undernourished HD patients could be observed already after short-term supplementation.

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