Nutrition Assessment in Critically Ill Patients

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The aim of this study was to assess whether subjective global assessment (SGA) is useful in identifying malnutrition and outcomes in the intensive care unit (ICU).


After obtaining institutional approval, 124 consenting patients were enrolled in this study. Patients were evaluated at admission using clinical data, SGA, height, weight, triceps skinfold thickness (TSF), mid-arm circumference (MAC), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II), and Simplified Acute Physiologic Score (SAPS). Patients were classified as well nourished, moderately malnourished, or severely malnourished with SGA.


According to SGA, 62% (n = 77) of the patients were classified as well nourished, 26% (n = 33) as moderately malnourished, and 11% (n = 14) as severely malnourished. Body weight, body mass index (BMI), MAC, TSF, and mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC) were lower, whereas APACHE II and SAPS II scores and mortality were higher in the malnourished groups compared with the well-nourished group. The SGA rating correlated significantly with age, body weight, percentage of weight loss, serum albumin level, APACHE II and SAPS II scores, and mortality. Anthropometrics data were correlated with SGA. Mortality rate was correlated with high APACHE II score, SAPS II score, days in the ICU and low BMI, MAMC, and serum albumin level.


The results support that SGA is simple and may predict the patient's outcomes in the ICU. (Nutr Clin Pract. 2008;23:635–641)

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