Nutritional Evaluation and Treatment of the Cirrhotic Patient

Clin Liver Dis. 2021 May;25(2):373-392. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2021.01.007.


Malnutrition and sarcopenia that lead to functional deterioration, frailty, and increased risk for complications and mortality are common in cirrhosis. Sarcopenic obesity, which is associated with worse outcomes than either condition alone, may be overlooked. Lifestyle intervention aiming for moderate weight reduction can be offered to obese compensated cirrhotic patients, with diet consisting of reduced caloric intake, achieved by reduction of carbohydrate and fat intake, while maintaining high protein intake. Dietary and moderate exercise interventions in patients with cirrhosis are beneficial. Cirrhotic patients with malnutrition should have nutritional counseling, and all patients should be encouraged to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Late-evening snack; Malnutrition; Nutritional support; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Counseling
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Malnutrition* / etiology
  • Malnutrition* / therapy
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Sarcopenia* / etiology
  • Sarcopenia* / therapy