The impact of nutrition on cirrhotic patients awaiting liver transplantation

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Sep;13(5):554-61. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833b64d2.


Purpose of review: To review the most recent aspects of nutrition therapy of cirrhotic patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation.

Recent findings: Undernutrition has been widely reported among these patients, despite the lack of consensus on the best nutritional assessment tools in this population. Nutrition therapy has been marked by controversy. Nonetheless, recent findings have pointed out to the important role of the nutrition status and of some specific nutrients on the outcome of these patients.

Summary: We report the latest findings on nutrition care of patients with end-stage liver disease on the waiting list for liver transplantation such as the impact of the nutritional status on outcome, probiotic and branched-chain amino acid supplementation, as well as the use of immunomodulating formula. Another important strategy that has been shown to improve these patients' nutritional care is the offering of nocturnal meals and micronutrient supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements
  • End Stage Liver Disease / complications
  • End Stage Liver Disease / diet therapy*
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diet therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Malnutrition / complications
  • Malnutrition / diet therapy*
  • Micronutrients / therapeutic use
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Waiting Lists


  • Amino Acids
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Micronutrients