Nutritional Assessment and Malnutrition in Patients with Cirrhosis

Amanda Chaney, Bhupendra Rawal, Denise Harnois, Andrew Keaveny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We sought to determine the incidence and outcomes of malnutrition in patients with cirrhosis. We performed a retrospective chart review of 134 patients listed for liver transplant (LT) to assess the presence and degree of malnutrition identified by the Subjective Global Assessment score at the time of initial transplant evaluation, follow-up nutrition visits, and at the time of transplant. Number of admissions/readmissions to the hospital, reason for hospitalization(s), and length of stay were determined. Malnutrition was prevalent at initial nutrition visit (51.9%) and underdiagnosed. By the time of transplant, 61% of the patients were identified as malnourished. Most patients (52%) were awaiting LT for more than 180 days. The change in Subjective Global Assessment score after the initial nutrition assessment was statistically significant (p ≤.007), with worsening malnutrition severity. Seventy-one patients (53%) required hospitalization while awaiting transplant, with a median hospital stay of 9 days. Nutrition expertise is required for prompt and accurate diagnosis of malnutrition in patients with cirrhosis. Nurses caring for patients with advanced liver disease are in a prime position to provide guidance to optimize patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-291
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Gastroenterology


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