Prevalence and mechanisms of malnutrition in patients with advanced liver disease, and nutrition management strategies

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Feb;10(2):117-25. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.08.016. Epub 2011 Sep 3.


Malnutrition is prevalent among cirrhotic patients and is an important prognostic factor. Etiologic factors include hypermetabolism, malabsorption, altered nutrient metabolism, and anorexia. It is a challenge to manage nutrition in cirrhotic patients because of alterations to metabolic and storage functions of the liver; use of traditional assessment tools, such as anthropometric and biometric measures, is difficult because of complications such as ascites and inflammation. In addition to meeting macro- and micronutrient requirements, the composition and timing of supplements have been proposed to affect efficacy of nutrition support. Studies have indicated that branched chain aromatic acid can be given as therapeutic nutrients, and that probiotics and nocturnal feeding improve patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Treatment Outcome