Prevalence of the protein – energy wasting syndrome and malnutrition among patients undergoing hemodialysis in Vilnius city clinical hospital.


Viktorija Belogorceva¹, Dainora Kubiliūtė², Elita Gruodytė¹,²

¹ Vilnius University, faculty of medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

² Departament of Nephrology, Vilnius city clinical hospital, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background: protein – energy wasting syndrome and malnutrition are common among patients undergoing hemodialysis, however these conditions are rarely examined and diagnosed. Protein and energy supply deficiency in these patients lead to higher morbidity and mortality risk. Therefore it is crucial to suspect and treat these conditions as soon as possible.

The aim of this research: To evaluate the prevalence of protein – energy wasting syndrome in patients undergoing hemodialysis in Vilnius city clinical hospital, nephrology department for dialysis and to analyze the possible links of malnutrition‘s criteria with other laboratory blood findings.

Materials and methods: 30 stable patients were included into the research. Clinical data was collected from the documentation of the out-patient hemodialysis and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Laboratory blood tests were evaluated. Patients were divided into groups, according to the malnutrition criteria: albumin, cholesterol, body mass index, weight changes over the last six months.

Results: According to the malnutrition’s criteria by the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism: BMI < 23 kg/m², albumin < 38 g/l, cholesterol < 2,6 mmol/l, weight loss > 5% in 3 months or > 10% in 6 months – there were no patients who matched all these criteria. Patients with lower albumin levels had higher CRP concentrations and shorter duration of hemodialysis therapy (in months).  Patients, treated with longer hemodialysis sessions, had higher creatinine and urea levels. 8 patients (36,4%) out of 22 (8 patients were excluded, because they started dialysis later than 6 months ago) lost weight and 14 (63,6%) gained weight. In patients, who lost weight, PTH was significantly lower.

Conclusions: None of the patients treated in Vilnius city clinical hospital met the criteria of protein – energy wasting syndrome or malnutrition. The links between malnutrition’s criteria and laboratory blood tests are similar to the results of previously published researches.

Key words: hemodialysis, protein – energy wasting syndrome, malnutrition.