Malnutrition in patients with chronic GVHD
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Malnutrition is a known complication of chronic GVHD (cGVHD), but has not been well described in the context of organ-specific manifestations and the recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria. Here, 210 cGVHD patients were analyzed, in a cross-sectional study design, for demographics, transplant-related history, clinical assessments, symptoms, function, quality-of-life, laboratory values and survival in order to determine their associations with nutritional status. Most patients had long-standing, moderate or severe cGVHD and had failed many lines of therapy. Twenty-nine percent (60/210) of subjects were malnourished, using the subjective Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) questionnaire and evaluation. No demographic or transplant characteristics were associated with malnutrition; cGVHD of the lungs, gastrointestinal (GI) tract and mouth, NIH global score, cGVHD symptoms, worse functioning, low albumin, poorer survival and low BMI were associated with malnutrition. A predictive model was developed from all variables of significance: cGVHD of the lungs, GI tract, mouth and BMI accurately predicted 84.2% of malnourished patients as well as 87.2% of well-nourished patients. The PG-SGA questionnaire may be a useful tool in diagnosing nutritional deficits in cGVHD patients undergoing one-time evaluations. Longitudinal prospective studies should assess the utility of nutritional support interventions in cGVHD.
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