How is chronic malnutrition diagnosed during wound healing?

Updated: Apr 24, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Zubin J Panthaki, MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC  more...
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Answer

Chronic malnutrition can be diagnosed using anthropometric data to compare actual and ideal body weights and by observing low serum albumin levels. Serum prealbumin is sensitive for relatively acute malnutrition because its half-life is 2-3 days (vs 21 d for albumin). A serum prealbumin level of less than 16-17 g/dL suggests some level of malnutrition, whereas a level less than 10 g/dL suggests severe protein-calorie malnutrition.


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