Nutritional and immunological evaluations in cancer patients. Relationship to surgical infections.

P. Dionigi, R. Dionigi, S. Nazari, A. P. Bonoldi, A. Griziotti, F. Pavesi, C. Tibaldeschi, F. Cividini, I. Gratton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several reports provide evidence of the synergism between malnutrition and infection in hospitalized patients. In this study, preoperative complete nutritional assessment (NA) was performed to: 1) evaluate NA modifications in 21 controls with benign minor surgical diseases and in 71 surgical cancer patients; 2) determine the relative value of nutritional and immunological indicators in relation to the postoperative septic complications in cancer patients. The following parameters were used: percent weight loss/month, percent standard arm circumference, percent standard triceps skinfold; hematocrit, hemoglobin, serum proteins, albumin, iron, transferrin, ceruloplasmin, retinol binding protein (RBP); serum creatinine, urine creatinine, creatinine/height index, percent arm muscle circumference; peripheral lymphocytes, white blood cells, complement (C3c), skin tests. In the cancer group percent usual body weight, percent arm muscle circumference, hematocrit, hemoglobin, albumin, iron, ceruloplasmin, retinol binding protein, C3c and delayed hypersensitivity response (DHR) were significantly different from controls. Ceruloplasmin and DHR were the only tests significantly different in the cancer patients who developed postoperative infections. Duration of anesthesia and operative field contamination are other important causative factors which, if associated with malnutrition, may determine a higher susceptibility to infections in surgical cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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