Home parenteral nutrition - A 3-year analysis of clinical and laboratory monitoring

J. U. Burnes, S. J.D. O'Keefe, C. R. Fleming, R. M. Devine, S. Berkner, L. Herrick

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81 Scopus citations


We report a 3-year analysis (1986 to 1989) of the management of 63 home parenteral nutrition patients, 40 with short-bowel syndrome and 23 with chronic intestinal obstruction with or without intestinal resection. Intravenous fluid requirements varied from 0.9 to 6 L/day, and the content of glucose varied between 46 and 531 g/day, protein varied from .0 to 85 g/day, fat from .0 to 100 g/day, sodium from 37 to 695 mEq/day, potassium from 30 to 220 mEq/day, chloride from 60 to 760 mEq/day, and acetate from 0 to 200 mEq/day. Body weight was normalized and well maintained in the majority of patients, but using the strict definition of deficiency as the presence of one abnormal value during 3 years, more than half had abnormal plasma chloride, glucose, alkaline phosphatase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, total protein, albumin, selenium, and iron concentrations, and more than a third had low calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin C levels. Normochromic anemia was seen in 73% and high blood creatinine associated with low urine volumes in 42%. Most (78%) returned to relatively normal lifestyles, but employability was occasionally impaired by loss of third-party insurance coverage resulting from a therapy that may cost $100,000 per year. Overall mortality was low (5% per year), but 73% needed readmission to hospital, mainly for suspected catheter sepsis. The results indicate that home parenteral nutrition has allowed many patients to survive gut failure and return to work but problems with chronic fluid, electrolyte and micronutrient deficiencies, catheter sepsis, and insurance coverage often restrict optimal rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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