Serum trace elements in dysphagic gastrostomy candidates before endoscopic gastrostomy for long term enteral feeding

Carla Adriana Santos, Jorge Fonseca, Elisabete Carolino, António Sousa Guerreiro

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background aims: Patients who underwent endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) present protein-energy malnutrition, but little is known about Trace Elements (TE), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Selenium (Se), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr). Our aim was the evaluation of serum TE in patients who underwent PEG and its relationship with serum proteins, BMI and nature of underlying disorder. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed collecting: patient's age, gender, underlying disorder, NRS-2002, BMI, serum albumin, transferrin and TE concentration. We used ferrozine colorimetric method for Fe; Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy for Zn/Cu; Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy for Se/Cr. The patients were divided into head and neck cancer (HNC) and neurological dysphagia (ND). Results: 146 patients (89 males), 21-95 years: HNC-56; ND-90. Low BMI in 78. Low values mostly for Zn (n = 122) and Fe (n = 69), but less for Se (n = 31), Cu (n = 16), Cr (n = 7); low albumin in 77, low transferrin in 94 and 66 with both proteins low. Significant differences between the groups of underlying disease only for Zn (t(140.326) = -2,642, p textless 0.01) and a correlation between proteins and TE respectively albumin and Zn (r = 0.197, p = 0.025), and albumin and Fe (r = 0.415, p = 0.000). Conclusions: When gastrostomy was performed, patients display low serum TE namely Zn, but also Fe, less striking regarding others TE. It was related with prolonged fasting, whatever the underlying disease. Low proteins were associated with low TE. Teams taking care of PEG-patients should use Zn supplementation and include other TE evaluation as part of the nutritional assessment of PEG candidates. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-723
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Nutrition & Dietetics


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