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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


BELTRAN-CHAIDEZ, Yazmín-Lizeth et al. Effect of parenteral glutamine in patients with gastrointestinal cancer undergoing surgery. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2019, vol.36, n.1, pp.5-12.  Epub Apr 26, 2021. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background and objective:

malnutrition during cancer treatment is common in patients; therefore, nutritional intervention has an important role in cancer prognosis. Total parenteral nutrition is indicated for patients subjected to a major surgery with gastrointestinal complications. Nutritional support could be improved with glutamine (Gln). Therefore, in this work, the effect of parenteral glutamine in patients with gastrointestinal cancer undergoing surgery was studied.

Material and methods:

patients were classified into two groups: non-supplemented and supplemented (Gln; 0.4 g/kg/day). Both groups received parenteral nutrition. One and seven days after surgery the nutritional status was evaluated. Hematic cytometry, protein metabolism and biochemical data were analyzed. A questionnaire was also applied to assess gastrointestinal function.


after the intervention, the nutritional status in both groups improved. However, the nutritional condition improved significantly better (p = 0.008) in the supplemented group. According to the gastrointestinal function evaluation, the supplemented group changed from severe to mild dysfunction (p = 0.0001). The non-supplemented group progressed from moderate to severe dysfunction, but no changes in blood cell markers were observed. The supplemented group improved its concentration of lymphocytes (p = 0.014). The plasma albumin concentration did not change in groups, but prealbumin improved significantly (p = 0.012) in the group that was supplemented with Gln.


intravenous nutritional support supplemented with glutamine can improve gastrointestinal function, improving the absorption of nutrients, which leads to a better state of nutrition. It also has positive effects on plasma concentration of lymphocytes, monocytes and prealbumin.

Keywords : Glutamine; Parenteral nutrition; Gastrointestinal cancer; Surgery; Nutritional status.

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