Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-67

Intravenous glutamine supplementation improves gut mucosal function in burn patients: a randomized controlled trial

Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Yasser A Salem
Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Management, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 11371
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7934.238453

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Background Glutamine supplementation in burned adults was found to improve the overall immune functions and gut integrity, and shortens overall hospital stay after burn injury with better clinical outcome. Glutamine depletion jeopardizes the functional integrity of the gut and leads to immunosuppression. Enteral intolerance is a clinical sign of defective gut mucosal integrity and is considered as a major complication along the course of treatment of burned patients. It is associated with the development of sepsis and increased mortality. We aimed in this study to find out whether intravenous glutamine supplementation will improve tolerance to enteral feeding and eventually clinical outcome of burn patients. Patients and methods Sixty critically ill burn patients were included in this study. They were randomly allocated into two groups. Group A received intravenous glutamine, and group B received placebo. Both groups were assessed as regards inflammatory and nutritional markers. Tolerance to enteral nutrition was observed and compared between the two groups, in addition to development of bacteremia. Results Group A patients were found to be more tolerant to enteral feeding compared with group B patients, with a statistically significant drop in enteral feeding intolerance rate in group A (P=0.048). As regards nutritional markers, a drop in serum transferrin and serum prealbumin with statistical significance was noticed among group B patients compared with group A patients after day 7, whereas no difference of statistical significance was noticed in serum albumin values. Positivity of blood culture for gram-negative organisms was less frequent among patients in group A, with high statistical significance. Conclusion Early use of intravenous glutamine in severely burned patients might provide a gut mucosal protective value reflected on its function. This was evident with improvement in enteral feeding intolerance, in addition to improvement in the barrier function of the gut mucosa that limits bacterial translocation.

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