Early metabolic treatment after liver transplant: Amino acid tolerance

G. Iapichino, D. Radrizzani, G. Bonetti, D. Codazzi, A. Colombo, B. Gridelli, M. Langer, G. Ronzoni, M. Savioli

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Objective: We investigated the amino acid (AA) tolerance during Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) in adult patients undergone liver transplant (LTX). Design: The treatment (Glucose and AA), induced on the 2nd postoperative day, was later maintained with 27 kcal/kg Ideal Body Weight (IBW) as glucose and 0.12 (12 patients: protocol #1), 0.18 (10 patients: protocol #2) and 0.25 g nitrogen (N)/kg IBW (13 patients: protocol #3) till end of the 6th postoperative day. The N intake was sequentially modified in protocol #2 and #3 to increase the supply of the amino acid (AA) that resulted in an infusion plasma level below the expected "normal" range (between 1 and 1.6 times the overnight fasting plasma level of volunteer). Patients: 35 consecutive adult patients without diabetes and organ failures for the entire study period. Measurements: Plasma AA profile was measured before LTX and at the last TPN day under continuous infusion. During #1 and #2 protocol, many AA resulted below or at the lower range of the norm while, during 0.25 gN/kg IBW infusion, the majority of the administered AA significantly increased with respect to reference values. Nevertheless, they remained in the "normal" plasma range indicating that they were supplied in an optimal amount (particularly the aromatic and sulphurated ones, potentially toxic if liver function is impaired, and the branched chain AA (BCAA) given at consistent dosage: 0.5 g/kg). Arginine resulted significantly increased (Arg: 1.9 times the reference) and cystine (Cys: 0.45), serine (Ser: 0.8) and taurine (Tau: 0.85) remained significantly lower than "normal" as well as the not administered citrulline (Cit: 0.58) and alfa amino butyric acid (Aba: 0.41). The AA (and calorie) load almost balanced the N losses during the 5th (0.411±0.038) and 6th study day (0.305±0.019 gN/kg). Conclusions: 0.25 gN/kg could be considered the minimum N load in the uncomplicated adult LTX recipients, for reassuring a balanced plasma AA pattern and body N turnover in the early postoperative phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995


  • Amino acid tolerance
  • Early postoperative phase
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Liver transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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