The importance of the refeeding syndrome

M A CrookJ V Panteli


In this review we discuss the refeeding syndrome. This potentially lethal condition can be defined as severe electrolyte and fluid shifts associated with metabolic abnormalities in malnourished patients undergoing refeeding, whether orally, enterally, or parenterally. It can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Clinical features are fluid-balance abnormalities, abnormal glucose metabolism, hypophosphatemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypokalemia. In addition, thiamine deficiency can occur. We describe which patient groups are more at risk for this syndrome and the clinical management of the condition.


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