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      Supervised oral protein supplementation during dialysis in patients with elevated C-reactive protein levels: a two phase, longitudinal, single center, open labeled study

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          Inflammation is considered one of the major causes of protein-energy wasting in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. It is unclear whether dietary interventions can impact nutritional status and quality of life in MHD patients with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Therefore, we examined the hypothesis that supervised intra-dialysis protein supplementation in MHD patients with elevated plasma CRP will improve protein stores and quality of life.


          A 24 week, two phase, longitudinal, single center, open labeled study of 50 MHD patients with plasma CRP > 3 mg/L was conducted. During the 12-week observation phase dietary advice was provided to increase protein intake to 1.2 g/kg/day. In the 12-week treatment phase 45 g of liquid protein supplement was provided at each dialysis treatment. Protein nitrogen appearance (PNA), mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC), serum albumin, body mass index (BMI) and quality of life (assessed by Short Form-12 questionnaire) were measured at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks.


          Median plasma CRP at baseline was 16.0 (IQR 7.7 to 25.1) mg/L. The mean MAMC was 26.5 ± 3.9 cm, BMI 29.2 ± 6.9 kg/m 2 and plasma albumin 3.8 ± 0.3 g/dl. During the intervention period, mean PNA increased by 0.13 g/kg/d ( p = 0.01) under a mixed effects model. However, there were no clinically or statistically significant effects on MAMC ( p = 0.87), plasma albumin ( p = 0.70), BMI ( p = 0.09), physical ( p = 0.32) or mental ( p = 0.96) composite scores.


          In MHD patients with elevated plasma CRP but otherwise mostly normal nutritional parameters, intra-dialytic oral protein supplement was effective in increasing protein intake but did not provide a detectable impact on nutritional status or quality of life.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12882-015-0070-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome in dialysis patients: causes and consequences.

          Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and inflammation are common and usually concurrent in maintenance dialysis patients. Many factors that appear to lead to these 2 conditions overlap, as do assessment tools and such criteria for detecting them as hypoalbuminemia. Both these conditions are related to poor dialysis outcome. Low appetite and a hypercatabolic state are among common features. PEM in dialysis patients has been suggested to be secondary to inflammation; however, the evidence is not conclusive, and an equicausal status or even opposite causal direction is possible. Hence, malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) is an appropriate term. Possible causes of MICS include comorbid illnesses, oxidative and carbonyl stress, nutrient loss through dialysis, anorexia and low nutrient intake, uremic toxins, decreased clearance of inflammatory cytokines, volume overload, and dialysis-related factors. MICS is believed to be the main cause of erythropoietin hyporesponsiveness, high rate of cardiovascular atherosclerotic disease, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality and hospitalization in dialysis patients. Because MICS leads to a low body mass index, hypocholesterolemia, hypocreatininemia, and hypohomocysteinemia, a "reverse epidemiology" of cardiovascular risks can occur in dialysis patients. Therefore, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and increased blood levels of creatinine and homocysteine appear to be protective and paradoxically associated with a better outcome. There is no consensus about how to determine the degree of severity of MICS or how to manage it. Several diagnostic tools and treatment modalities are discussed. Successful management of MICS may ameliorate the cardiovascular epidemic and poor outcome in dialysis patients. Clinical trials focusing on MICS and its possible causes and consequences are urgently required to improve poor clinical outcome in dialysis patients.
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            Effects of body size and body composition on survival in hemodialysis patients.

            It is unclear whether increased muscle mass or body fat confer the survival advantage in hemodialysis patients with high body-mass index (BMI). Twenty-four-hour urinary creatinine (UCr) excretion was used as a measure of muscle mass. The outcomes of hemodialysis patients with high BMI and normal or high muscle mass (inferred low body fat) and high BMI and low muscle mass (inferred high body fat) were studied to study the effects of body composition on outcomes. In 70,028 patients who initiated hemodialysis in the United States from January 1995 to December 1999 with measured creatinine clearances reported in the Medical Evidence form, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality were examined in Cox and parametric survival models. When compared with normal BMI (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m(2)) group, patients with high BMI (> or = 25 kg/m(2)) had lower hazard of death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; P 25th percentile (0.55 g/d), high BMI patients with UCr >0.55 g/d had lower hazard of all-cause (HR, 0.85; P < 0.001) and cardiovascular death (HR, 0.89; P < 0.001), and high BMI patients with UCr < or =0.55 g/d had higher hazard of all-cause death (HR, 1.14; P<0.001) and cardiovascular death (HR, 1.19; P <0.001). Both BMI and body composition are strong predictors of death. The protective effect conferred by high BMI is limited to those patients with normal or high muscle mass. High BMI patients with inferred high body fat have increased and not decreased mortality.
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              Management of protein-energy wasting in non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease: reconciling low protein intake with nutritional therapy.

              Protein-energy wasting (PEW), characterized by a decline in body protein mass and energy reserves, including muscle and fat wasting and visceral protein pool contraction, is an underappreciated condition in early to moderate stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and a strong predictor of adverse outcomes. The prevalence of PEW in early to moderate CKD is ≥20-25% and increases as CKD progresses, in part because of activation of proinflammatory cytokines combined with superimposed hypercatabolic states and declines in appetite. This anorexia leads to inadequate protein and energy intake, which may be reinforced by prescribed dietary restrictions and inadequate monitoring of the patient's nutritional status. Worsening uremia also renders CKD patients vulnerable to potentially deleterious effects of uncontrolled diets, including higher phosphorus and potassium burden. Uremic metabolites, some of which are anorexigenic and many of which are products of protein metabolism, can exert harmful effects, ranging from oxidative stress to endothelial dysfunction, nitric oxide disarrays, renal interstitial fibrosis, sarcopenia, and worsening proteinuria and kidney function. Given such complex pathways, nutritional interventions in CKD, when applied in concert with nonnutritional therapeutic approaches, encompass an array of strategies (such as dietary restrictions and supplementations) aimed at optimizing both patients' biochemical variables and their clinical outcomes. The applicability of many nutritional interventions and their effects on outcomes in patients with CKD with PEW has not been well studied. This article reviews the definitions and pathophysiology of PEW in patients with non-dialysis-dependent CKD, examines the current indications for various dietary modification strategies in patients with CKD (eg, manufactured protein-based supplements, amino acids and their keto acid or hydroxyacid analogues), discusses the rationale behind their potential use in patients with PEW, and highlights areas in need of further research.

                Author and article information

                (801) 585-3810 ,
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central (London )
                23 June 2015
                23 June 2015
                : 16
                [ ]VA Healthcare System, Salt Lake City, UT USA
                [ ]Department of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, 85 North Medical Drive East, Room 201, 84112 Salt Lake City, UT USA
                © Beddhu et al. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Research Article
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                quality of life, hemodialysis, protein supplement, inflammation


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