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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nutritional support and measured energy expenditure of the child and adolescent with head injury.

Energy expenditure, nitrogen excretion, and serum protein levels were studied from the time of hospital admission until 2 weeks after severe head injury in eight adolescents and four children with peak 24-hour Glasgow Coma Scale scores ranging from 3 to 8. The mean measured energy expenditure (MEE) was 1.3 times Harris and Benedict's predicted value for energy expenditure. Seventy percent of the patients achieved caloric balance (MEE X 1.2) by 4 to 14 days after injury, but balance was not consistently maintained. Five of the 12 patients had intermittent diarrhea, and two had increased gastric residuals. In five patients fluid restrictions were imposed due to either the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, pulmonary complications, or intracranial pressure complications. For the adolescents (aged 11 to 17 years) the mean calorie intake during the 1st week was 752 kcal/day and for the children (aged 2 to 5 years) it was 340 kcal/day. During the 2nd week the mean calorie intake for the adolescents was 1671 kcal/day and for the children was 691 kcal/day. Mean urinary nitrogen excretion was 307 mg/kg/day for the adolescents and 160 mg/kg/day for the children. The calculated mean nitrogen balance for the eight adolescents and the four younger children was -13.6 and -4.1, respectively. Mean albumin levels decreased from 2.9 gm/dl during the 1st week to 2.4 gm/dl during the 2nd week (normal 3.5 to 5.0 gm/dl). Mean total protein level during the 1st week was 5.4 gm/dl and increased to a mean of 6.0 gm/dl during the 2nd week (normal 6.0 to 7.8 gm/dl). Weight loss ranged from 2 to 26 lb during the 2-week period. From these studies it can be concluded that head injury in the child and adolescent induces a metabolic response that includes increased energy expenditure and decreased serum albumin levels similar to those observed for head-injured adults. Mean nitrogen excretion values are less than those in adults with a severe head injury.[1]


  1. Nutritional support and measured energy expenditure of the child and adolescent with head injury. Phillips, R., Ott, L., Young, B., Walsh, J. J. Neurosurg. (1987) [Pubmed]
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