Nutritional Support in Chronic Liver Disease

Anne S Henkel; Alan L Buchman


Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;3(4):202-209. 

In This Article


Malnutrition is a well-known complication of advanced liver disease and is associated with detrimental consequences if left untreated. It is, therefore, of critical importance to assess the nutritional status of all patients with chronic liver disease and to optimize nutritional support in these patients. Treatment should focus on maintaining adequate protein and caloric intake and correcting nutrient deficiencies. Strategies include the consumption of frequent small meals and a late evening snack to reduce protein breakdown. When oral intake is insufficient, early implementation of enteral feeding should be considered. The use of BCAAs remains controversial, but the most recent data promote their therapeutic potential. Malnutrition is a potentially reversible condition that, when identified and treated appropriately, can lead to improved outcomes.

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