A randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, pilot study of parenteral glutamine for allogeneic stem cell transplant patients

Support Care Cancer. 2005 Oct;13(10):790-6. doi: 10.1007/s00520-005-0790-y. Epub 2005 Mar 15.


We conducted a prospective, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled pilot study of parenteral nutrition (PN) supplemented with 0.57 g/kg glutamine-dipeptide in a homogeneous group of 32 allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) recipients to determine its effect on mucosal barrier injury (MBI). All patients had been prepared with idarubicin, cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation. PN (by continuous infusion) started on SCT day -6 for a median of 19 days. MBI measured by sugar permeability tests, daily mucositis score, daily gut score, and citrulline concentrations was not reduced by glutamine-dipeptide. However, the daily gut score was significantly lower for the glutamine group on SCT +7 (p = 0.001) whilst citrulline was lower (p = 0.03) for the placebo group on SCT day +21. Albumin was significantly lower in the placebo group on SCT day +21 (32+/-4 versus 37+/-3, p = 0.001) whilst CRP was higher (74+/-48 versus 34+/-38, p = 0.003). Other transplant-related complications (infections, acute graft-versus-host disease) were less common although this did not reach statistical significance nor translate into a reduced length of hospital stay or lower mortality. These results indicate that it would be worthwhile conducting a larger trial to see whether or not giving glutamine-dipeptide reduces the 100-day allogeneic transplant-related complications.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glutamine / administration & dosage*
  • Glutamine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Pilot Projects
  • Placebos
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Homologous*


  • Placebos
  • Glutamine