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Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Jan;33(1):176-9.

Factors causing malnutrition in patients with chronic uremia.

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Renal Division, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


There is abundant evidence that patients with chronic renal failure (CRF), including those treated by hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, have evidence of malnutrition with decreased body weight and subnormal values of serum proteins (suggesting a loss of visceral protein stores). Potential causes of an abnormal nutritional status that have been identified include an inadequate intake of protein or calories, an inability to activate the metabolic responses that are needed to achieve nitrogen and protein balance, or the presence of a disease that prevents activation of these metabolic responses or acts to stimulate the breakdown of body protein stores. Three critical metabolic responses to a limited protein intake have been identified: a reduction in the irreversible degradation of amino acids and the degradation of protein breakdown and an increase in protein synthesis in response to a meal. Metabolic acidosis blocks the first two responses and hence contributes to malnutrition in patients with chronic uremia. Other factors that could contribute to malnutrition include an inadequate intake because of anorexia or hormonal imbalances that impair protein turnover. In evaluating CRF patients with malnutrition, the first task is to ensure an adequate intake and to eliminate factors that impair the ability to achieve nitrogen balance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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