Dietary prescription based on estimated nitrogen balance during peritoneal dialysis

Alberto Edefonti, Marina Picca, Beatrice Damiani, Loi Silvana, Luciana Ghio, Marisa Giani, Geltrude Consalvo, Maria R. Grassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Protein and energy requirements of children on automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) have still not been sufficiently well defined, although their adequacy is important to maintain a positive nitrogen (N) balance and prevent malnutrition. We carried out 42 studies to estimate N balance in 31 children over 3 years on APD for 19.8 ± 15.7 months. Twenty metabolic studies were performed in patients dialysed for less than 1 year (7.2 ± 3.3 months) and 22 in patients treated for more than 1 year (31.3 ± 13.6 months). The mean estimated N balance of all metabolic studies was 57.5 ± 62.8 mg/l(g per day. In only 21 of 42 studies was N balance estimated to be over 50 mg/kg per day, which is considered adequate to meet N requirements for all metabolic needs and growth of uremic children. Estimated N balance correlated significantly with dietary protein intake (r = 0.671, P = 0.0001) and total energy intake (r = 0.489, P = 0.001). Using the equations of correlation, the values of dietary protein intake [= 144% recommended dietary allowance (RDA)] and total energy intake (89% RDA) required to obtain an estimated N balance > 50 mg/kg per day were calculated. Significantly lower estimated N balance values were obtained in the studies performed on patients on APD for over 1 year (36.09 ± 54.02 mg/kg per day) than in patients treated for less than 1 year (81.11 ± 64.70 mg/kg per day). In conclusion, based on the values of estimated N balance, we were able to establish adequate dietary protein and energy requirements for children on APD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


  • Automated peritoneal dialysis
  • Dietary calorie prescription
  • Dietary protein prescription
  • Estimated nitrogen balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Edefonti, A., Picca, M., Damiani, B., Silvana, L., Ghio, L., Giani, M., Consalvo, G., & Grassi, M. R. (1999). Dietary prescription based on estimated nitrogen balance during peritoneal dialysis. Pediatric Nephrology, 13(3), 253-258.