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Nutritional support for patients who have had a bone marrow transplant

Murray SM, Pindoria S
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Bone marrow transplant patients can experience prolonged poor appetite with vomiting and diarrhoea. Malnutrition is a consequence. To prevent this, patients can receive nutritious fluids orally or via a nasogastric tube, or intravenously as parenteral nutrition. The benefits of either route are unclear. Studies were found that compared these interventions but missing data prevents proper assessment of the benefits. However, the limited data available indicates that when patients undergo bone marrow transplantation and are given intravenous fluids and are encouraged to have an oral diet they are less likely to experience infections and are more likely to go home earlier than if they are given standard parenteral nutrition routinely. In the event that patients nutritional intake is inadequate because of an inadequate oral intake or because they are unable to tolerate tube feeding and are given parenteral nutrition with added glutamine they are likely to have less infections but may not necessarily leave hospital earlier.

This record should be cited as: 
Murray SM, Pindoria S. Nutrition support for bone marrow transplant patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD002920. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002920.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
30 April 2008