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Br Med J. 1980 Oct 4;281(6245):899-901.

Relation of anthropometric and dynamometric variables to serious postoperative complications.


Prediction of serious postoperative complications by using standard anthropometric and biochemical nutritional variables was attempted in 225 patients admitted for major abdominal surgery. In 102 of the patients hand-grip dynamometry was also measured, and this proved the most sensitive test, predicting complications in 48 of the 55 patients (87%) who developed them (p < 0.001). Arm muscle circumference and forearm muscle circumference below 85% of the standard value were also of predictive value (p < 0.02 and p < 0.01 respectively); weight for height and serum albumin concentrations were less satisfactory, while weight loss of more than 10% was not significantly related to complications. Dynamometry is a useful, rapid, and inexpensive screening test for detecting malnutrition that is likely to predispose to serious postoperative morbidity.

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