Enteral Nutrition Improves Clinical Outcome and Shortens Hospital Stay After Cancer Surgery

J Invest Surg. 2010 Dec;23(6):309-13. doi: 10.3109/08941939.2010.519428.


Background and aims: The aim of our study was to investigate whether medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and protein-enriched enteral nutrition (EN) could improve protein level and clinical outcomes in postoperative patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

Material and methods: A randomized clinical trial was performed. A population of 229 patients with gastrointestinal cancer was enrolled and allocated to two groups: (a) 114 patients received MCT and protein-enriched EN (Group I) and (b) 115 patients received an isocaloric EN (Group II). The total calorie was 25 kcal/kg/day and the time period of full dose of EN must be at least five days.

Results: The three plasma proteins were improved after the EN support in both groups (p < .05). But, the increase of prealbumin in Group I was higher than that in Group II (p < .05). Episodes of diarrhea rate were equal and the postoperative infectious complications were not different between both groups. The length of hospital stay was shorter in Group I (18.4 ± 12 vs. 24.5 ± 15 d; p < .05).

Conclusions: MCT and protein-enriched EN improves the prealbumin level and shortens the length of hospital stay in patients with gastrointestinal cancer without a high rate of adverse reaction, which may be due to high content of MCT and protein in EN.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Enteral Nutrition* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care*
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting
  • Prealbumin / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Prealbumin
  • Triglycerides