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Nutritional optimization in liver transplant patients: from the pre-transplant setting to post-transplant outcome

Journal Volume 86 - 2023
Issue Fasc.2 - Reviews
Author(s) F.M. Trovato 1, F. Artru 1
Full article
Full Article
PAGES 335-342
(1) Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Background and study aims: malnutrition and its clinical phenotypes, sarcopenia, and frailty, are prevalent conditions that affect patients with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation. The link between malnutrition, sarcopenia, and frailty and a higher risk of complications or death (before and after liver transplantation) is well established. Accordingly, the optimization of nutritional status could optimize both access to liver transplantation and the outcome following the surgery. Whether optimization of nutritional status in patients awaiting LT is associated with improved outcomes after transplant is the focus of this review. This includes the use of specialized regimens such as immune-enhancing or branchedchain amino-acids-enhanced diets.

Results and conclusion: we discuss here the results of the few available studies in the field and provide an expert opinion of the obstacles that have led, so far, to an absence of benefit of such specialized regimens as compared to standard nutritional support. In the next future, combining nutritional optimization with exercise and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols could help optimize outcomes following liver transplantation.

Keywords: preoperative optimisation, nutritional status, liver transplantation, malnutrition, sarcopenia, frailty.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 37428167