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Montalcini T.,University of Catanzaro | Moraca M.,University of Catanzaro | Ferro Y.,University of Catanzaro | Romeo S.,University of Catanzaro | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine

Background: The association between malnutrition and worse outcomes as pressure ulcers and mortality is well established in a variety of setting. Currently none investigation was conducted in patients with long-term consequences of the acquired brain injury in which recovery from brain injury could be influenced by secondary complications. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between various nutritional status parameters (in particular albumin) and pressure ulcers formation and short-term mortality in minimal conscious state patients. Methods: In this prospective, observational study of 5-months duration, a 30 patients sample admitted to a Neurological Institute was considered. All patients underwent a complete medical examination. Anthropometric parameters like mid-arm circumference and mid-arm muscle circumference and nutritional parameters as serum albumin and blood hemoglobin concentration were assessed. Results: At univariate and logistic regression analysis, mid-arm circumference (p = 0.04; beta = -0.89), mid-arm muscle circumference (p = 0.050; beta = -1.29), hemoglobin (p = 0.04, beta -1.1) and albumin (p = 0.04, beta -7.91) were inversely associated with pressure ulcers. The area under the ROC curve for albumin to predict sores was 0.76 (p = 0.02) and mortality was 0.83 (p = 0.03). Patient with lower albumin had significantly higher short-term mortality than those with higher serum albumin (p = 0.03; ×2 test = 6.47). Conclusion: Albumin, haemoglobin and mid-arm circumference are inversely associated with pressure ulcers. Albumin is a prognostic index in MCS patients. Since albumin and haemoglobin could be affected by a variety of factors, this association suggests to optimize nutrition and investigate on other mechanism leading to mortality and pressure ulcers. © 2015 Montalcini et al. Source

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