More than one-half of children with chronic liver disease suffer from malnutrition, which leads not only to a poor quality of life and even possibly catastrophic complications, but also to poor outcomes after a liver transplantation. These children have increased metabolic demands but often decreased intake with malabsorption and altered nutrient utilization, all of which make it difficult to keep up with nutritional demands. Assessment of a patient’s nutritional status should be timely, and it should be performed routinely and proactively. When specific nutritional needs are identified, these should be addressed with a multidisciplinary team approach and with the close guidance of an experienced pediatric dietician. The assessment includes anthropometric and laboratory assessments, in addition to a careful physical examination and a detailed patient history. The specific nutritional needs vary, but generally dietary intervention focuses on increasing caloric intake, supplementation with medium-chain triglycerides, and prevention of essential fatty acid and fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health