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La Revue de medecine interne

[Changes in nutritional status at the initial phase of treatment of cancers and malignant hemopathies].


PMID 3616232

Abstract

Changes in nutritional status at the initial phase of treatment of cancers and malignant blood diseases were evaluated in 32 male patients (mean age 58 +/- 18 years) examined during three 4-day stays in hospital (T0, T1, T2) at 2 months' interval. On the first day of each stay the following parameters were measured: food intake (kcal/day), weight (kg), squared height (m), fat mass (kg) obtained by measuring 4 skin folds and using Durnin's tables, brachial muscle area (cm2) and total skeletal muscle mass (kg) calculated from Heymsfield's equations. On the third and fourth days, after 48 hours of meat-free and fish-free diet, 3-methylhistidine (mmol/g creatininuria) and creatinine (mg) were measured in urine, and the urinary creatinine/height ratio (mg/cm/day) was calculated. Full anthropomorphic measurements were performed on 19/32 patients and complete measurements of 3-methylhistidine and the urinary creatinine/height ratio in 9/32 patients. Subsequent examinations revealed a decrease in brachial muscle area, total skeletal muscle mass and urinary creatinine/height ratio which, together with an increase in baseline 3-methylhistidine, confirmed the loss of muscle mass. Mean losses of muscle and fat were 6 p. 100 between T1 and T0 and 7 p. 100 between T2 and T0 for the muscle mass, and 9 p. 100 between T2 and T0 for the fat mass. These losses of body mass occurred very early, with significant differences between T1 and T0 and between T2 and T0. They suggest that protein-calorie malnutrition develops at a very early stage in patients treated for cancer or malignant blood disease.