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Nutritional status of patients undergoing lung cancer operations

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tim Goodship, Emeritus Professor John Gibson


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Background. Patients referred for lung cancer operations were reported to be nutritionally depleted. This may be relevant in determining patient outcome after surgical procedures. A study was undertaken to measure a range of nutritional variables including dietary intake of patients referred to a regional cardiothoracic center for curative lung cancer operations. Methods. Anthropometric measurements, grip strength, fat-free mass (FFM), serum protein concentrations, lymphocyte count, creatinine-height index, subjective global assessment, and data on daily intakes of energy, protein, and vitamin C were collected prospectively. Anthropometric indices were also measured in a group of control patients with mild chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Results. Sixty patients and 22 control patients were recruited. Weight, skin-fold thickness, and grip strength were not significantly different between patients and control patients, and both groups were similar to the general population. However, 8 patients (13.3%) had a body mass index (BMI) less than 20, and 14 patients (24.1%) had a fat-free mass index less than 15. Serum albumin and transferrin concentrations and lymphocyte count were very rarely depressed but prealbumin and retinol-binding protein levels were below normal in 11.9% and 8.3% of patients, respectively. Thirty percent of patients reported low energy intake, 13% reported a low protein intake, and 61.7% had reduced vitamin C intake. Conclusions. Severe nutritional depletion was uncommon in patients referred for operations for lung cancer and its frequency may have been overestimated in some previous reports. A law intake of vitamin C was common in our patients but its clinical significance is unclear. (C) 2001 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goodship THJ; Gibson GJ; Jagoe RT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Year: 2001

Volume: 71

Issue: 3

Pages: 929-935

ISSN (print): 0003-4975

ISSN (electronic): 1552-6259

Publisher: Elsevier