The determinants of postoperative nitrogen balance: Influence of sex and nutritional status

F. Baticci, F. Bozzetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate the nitrogen and caloric requirement of elective postoperative cancer patients, 55 females and 62 males (61 malnourished and 56 well-nourished) were reviewed and nutritional regimens correlated with postoperative nitrogen balance. The results showed that caloric (Ei) and nitrogen (Ni) intakes were correlated with nitrogen balance, but the calorie:nitrogen ratio was not. Ni seemed to be the major determinant of postoperative nitrogen balance. The effect of Ei and Ni with respect to nitrogen balance seemed to be additive, since a better nitrogen balance was reached by increasing Ei or Ni. Basal nitrogen loss was lower in females, but males seemed to retain nitrogen better than females. In contrast, there was no difference between malnourished and well-nourished patients in this regard. Ei did not seem to be very important in female patients, malnourished or well-nourished, or in well-nourished males, whereas Ni was a major determinant of postoperative nitrogen balance in all four groups of patients. We therefore recommend a higher Ni and Ei be given in malnourished patients. In males attention should be paid to Ei and Ni, whereas in females Ei seems less important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalRivista Italiana di Nutrizione Parenterale ed Enterale
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Anatomy
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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