Malnutrition in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis.
Traub Julia,Reiss Lisa,Aliwa Benard,Stadlbauer Vanessa
Liver cirrhosis is an increasing public health threat worldwide. Malnutrition is a serious complication of cirrhosis and is associated with worse outcomes. With this review, we aim to describe the prevalence of malnutrition, pathophysiological mechanisms, diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets to treat malnutrition. Malnutrition is frequently underdiagnosed and occurs-depending on the screening methods used and patient populations studied-in 5-92% of patients. Decreased energy and protein intake, inflammation, malabsorption, altered nutrient metabolism, hypermetabolism, hormonal disturbances and gut microbiome dysbiosis can contribute to malnutrition. The stepwise diagnostic approach includes a rapid prescreen, the use of a specific screening tool, such as the Royal Free Hospital Nutritional Prioritizing Tool and a nutritional assessment by dieticians. General dietary measures-especially the timing of meals-oral nutritional supplements, micronutrient supplementation and the role of amino acids are discussed. In summary malnutrition in cirrhosis is common and needs more attention by health care professionals involved in the care of patients with cirrhosis. Screening and assessment for malnutrition should be carried out regularly in cirrhotic patients, ideally by a multidisciplinary team. Further research is needed to better clarify pathogenic mechanisms such as the role of the gut-liver-axis and to develop targeted therapeutic strategies.