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

Comparison of enteral feeding and total parenteral nutrition after liver transplantation.

Total parenteral nutrition is used for nutritional support in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation but is associated with complications. We compared the efficacy and tolerability of early enteral feeding with total parenteral nutrition after liver transplantation. 24 patients were studied: 14 received enteral feeding and 10 total parenteral nutrition. A double-lumen enteral tube was used to deliver the feed directly into the jejunum with the second lumen of the tube being used for gastric aspiration. Enteral feeding was started post-operatively within 18 h, was well-tolerated, and of comparable efficacy to total parenteral nutrition. The median number of days for patients to start eating (4) and to achieve 70% of estimated requirements orally (5) did not differ significantly between the two groups. Mid-arm circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, and biceps skinfold thickness were, by comparison with pre-operative values, maintained on the tenth postoperative day in both groups. Early postoperative absorptive capacity, as assessed by a combined carbohydrate test, was reduced significantly in both groups but insufficiently to be of nutritional concern. Intestinal mucosal integrity, as assessed by an intestinal permeability test, was maintained throughout. We conclude that the practical aspects of enteral feeding after liver transplantation are surmountable and that enteral feeding is as effective at maintaining nutritional status as total parenteral nutrition, and has potential benefits in terms of reduced complications and costs.[1]


  1. Comparison of enteral feeding and total parenteral nutrition after liver transplantation. Wicks, C., Somasundaram, S., Bjarnason, I., Menzies, I.S., Routley, D., Potter, D., Tan, K.C., Williams, R. Lancet (1994) [Pubmed]
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