Protein-sparing therapy after major abdominal surgery
Ann Surg 1996 ; 223 : 357-362
OBJECTIVE: A prospective multicenter randomized trial was designed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of postoperative protein-sparing therapy. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The metabolic effect of postoperative protein-sparing therapy has been shown by several studies, but the clinical utility of this treatment has not been investigated by large prospective trials. METHODS: Six hundred seventy-eight patients undergoing major elective abdominal surgery were randomly assigned to receive either protein-sparing therapy after surgery (protein-sparing therapy group) or conventional therapy (control group). The patients were monitored for postoperative complications and mortality. RESULTS: The rate of major postoperative complications was similar in both groups (protein-sparing therapy group, 19.5%; control group, 20.9%; p=0.66) as were the overall postoperative mortality rates (4.7% and 3.5%, respectively; p=0.43). CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that routine protein-sparing therapy for patients normonourished or mildly malnourished undergoing major abdominal surgery is not clinically justified.