Prognostic ability of nutritional assessment methods in surgical cancer patients

M. Braga, P. Baccari, G. Radaelli, V. DiCarlo, L. Gianotti, M. Cristallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To identify patients at high-risk for post-operative infections, several methods have been proposed, including prognostic nutritional index (PNI), instant nutritional assessment (INA) and nutritional assessment (NA). Weight loss (WL) has also been related to post-operative morbidity. We have evaluated the prognostic ability of PNI, INA, NA and WL in a prospective study carried out in 94 patients affected by gastro-intestinal malignancy, who underwent major surgery. Post-operative infections occurred in 26 (27.7%) patients. PNI, INA and NA identified classes of patients with a progressive risk of septic complications. To determine the prognostic ability of PNI, INA, NA and WL, sensitivity, specificity, Youden index and predictive values were evaluated. All methods had a Youden index greater than one, with a positive predictive value ranging from 0.33 to 0.36. Since all the methods studied showed a similar predictive ability, it seems reasonable to identify the high-risk surgical patient by using weight loss in association with those nutritional parameters derived from routine hospital laboratory tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Health Professions(all)


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