The influence of preoperative total parenteral nutrition upon morbidity and mortality

P. M. Starker, P. A. LaSala, J. Askanazi, G. Todd, T. W. Hensle, J. M. Kinney

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36 Scopus citations


This study was done to examine the criteria for determining the adequacy of preoperative total parenteral nutrition (TPN). We hypothesized that an important criterion for adequate preoperative nutrition should be a contraction of the expanded extracellular fluid compartment known to occur in malnourished patients undergoing surgical treatment. Clinical evidence of this included a rise in the serum albumin level and weight loss. Fifty-nine patients requiring preoperative nutritional support for at least five days were admitted to the study. The patients were divided into three groups (group 1, group 2a and group 2b) based upon the response of the patients to TPN. Group 1 consisted of 23 patients who demonstrated a rise in serum albumin value, loss in body weight and diuresis after seven days of TPN. Group 2 was made up of 36 patients who failed to demonstrate a rise in the albumin level in response to nutritional support for one week. Of these patients, 20 underwent operation at the end of a week of nutritional support (group 2a) while 16 patients received four to six weeks of nutritional support preoperatively (group 2b). The complication rate in the three groups was 4.3 per cent for those in group 1; 45 per cent for those in group 2a and 12.5 per cent for those in group 2b (p<0.05), group 2a versus group 2b). The results of this study demonstrate a high mortality and morbidity in patients who fail to increase the serum albumin level after one week of TPN. The data suggest that a prolonged period of parenteral nutrition results in a substantial decrease in perioperative complications in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-574
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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