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Poster presentation | Open | Published:

Comparison of the effects of intravenous, enteral and enteral + intravenous supply of glutamine on malnutrition in sepsis


Our aim was to compare the effects of intravenous, enteral and intravenous + enteral supplemented glutamine on prediction of positive feeding parameters (transferrin, nitrogen balance and creatine/height index) for malnutrition in septic patients.


This was a prospective, randomized, controlled, single-blind, clinical study. Forty septic patients with malnutrition were randomly divided into four groups (n = 10 each group). All patients were receiving enteral access, and had a clinical diagnosis of either severe sepsis or septic shock. All patients received enteral nutrition during 15 days. Enteral feeding was delivered at a constant rate to achieve energy expenditure (Harris-Benedict equation). Blood and urine samples were obtained for transferrin, nitrogen balance and creatine/height index at least at baseline and on study days 7 and 15. Group 1: received 30 g/day intravenous glutamine, Group 2: received 30 g/day enteral glutamine, Group 3: received 15 g/day enteral + 15 g/day intravenous glutamine, Group 4: control group, without glutamine only enteral feeding. Data were compared by the Tukey HSD test.


Nitrogen balance levels were not significantly different between groups on the first 7 and 15 days. The transferrin level was higher in Group 2 than Group 4 on the first 7 days (P < 0.001). Transferrin levels were not significantly different between the other groups. Transferrin levels were higher in Group 3 than Group 2 (P < 0.05) and Group 4 (P < 0.001) in 15 days. Creatine/height index was higher in Group 3 than Group 4 (P < 0.05) in 15 days.


Enteral plus intravenous supplemented glutamine has more beneficial effects on transferrin and creatine/height index than only enteral or intravenous supply of glutamine. Also, we observed that enteral feeding of supplemented glutamine has beneficial effects on transferrin, nitrogen balance and creatine/height index in Groups 1, 2 and 3 when compared with Group 4.


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    Novak F, Heyland DK, et al.: Glutamine supplementation in serious illness: a systematic review of the evidence. Crit Care Med 2002, 30: 2022-2029. 10.1097/00003246-200209000-00011

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Correspondence to G Koksal.

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  • Glutamine
  • Septic Shock
  • Transferrin
  • Severe Sepsis
  • Enteral Nutrition