Review of the refeeding syndrome.

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0008, USA.
Nutrition in Clinical Practice (Impact Factor: 1.58). 01/2006; 20(6):625-33. DOI: 10.1177/0115426505020006625
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Refeeding syndrome describes a constellation of metabolic disturbances that occur as a result of reinstitution of nutrition to patients who are starved or severely malnourished. Patients can develop fluid and electrolyte disorders, especially hypophosphatemia, along with neurologic, pulmonary, cardiac, neuromuscular, and hematologic complications. We reviewed literature on refeeding syndrome and the associated electrolyte abnormalities, fluid disturbances, and associated complications. In addition to assessing scientific literature, we also considered clinical experience and judgment in developing recommendations for prevention and treatment of refeeding syndrome. The most important steps are to identify patients at risk for developing refeeding syndrome, institute nutrition support cautiously, and correct and supplement electrolyte and vitamin deficiencies to avoid refeeding syndrome. We provide suggestions for the prevention of refeeding syndrome and suggestions for treatment of electrolyte disturbances and complications in patients who develop refeeding syndrome, according to evidence in the literature, the pathophysiology of refeeding syndrome, and clinical experience and judgment.

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    ABSTRACT: Refeeding syndrome is a potentially fatal clinical condition characterized by severe electrolyte and fluid shifts associated with metabolic abnormalities in severely malnourished or starved patients undergoing oral, enteral or parenteral refeeding. We here present a case of a 50-year-old Indian male with a background of depression and alcoholic liver disease presented with alleged ingestion of a detergent. He subsequently developed an oesophageal stricture resulting in severe malnutrition. He developed refeeding syndrome following commencement of TPN associated with clear biochemical alteration. This was immediately identified and rectified. This case report highlights the prevalence of refeeding syndrome in a typical hospital setting that can easily be overlooked and stresses the importance of early recognition as this is a preventable disorder
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