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Am J Clin Nutr. 1978 Mar;31(3):429-35.

Assessment of protein-calorie malnutrition in surgical patients from plasma proteins and anthropometric measurements.


Six plasma proteins, two anthropometric measurements, hemoglobin and total lymphocytes were determined in 54 surgical patients and 19 normal individuals. Preoperative patients had a low mean values for prealbumin, retinol binding protein, and arm muscle circumference. In postoperative patients, plasma transferrin, albumin, hemoglobin, total lymphocytes and body weight were also low and complement C3 was higher than normal. A correlation matrix for 10 variables showed interrelationships between the biochemical and anthropometric data. Prealbumin and transferrin were highly correlated with most of the variables. The effects of protein-calorie malnutrition were analyzed from the data ranked and grouped according to the plasma prealbumin or transferrin concentration. Those groups with low mean values for these proteins also had low values for most of the other variables. Protein calorie malnutrition in surgical patients may be conveniently assessed from plasma prealbumin, transferrin, arm muscle circumference, percentage weight loss, and hemoglobin.

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