Nutrition in Elderly Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery

Sammanfattning: Many elderly undergo cardiac surgery. The prevalence of malnutrition in elderly is high and increases with comorbidity. This thesis aims to clarify some aspects on performing surgery in elderly concerning nutritional status, nutritional treatment and age-related physiology.Study I: 886 patients were assessed preoperatively by body mass index (BMI) and S-albumin and postoperatively for mortality and morbidity.. Low BMI increased the relative hazard for death and low S-albumin increased the risk for infection. BMI and S-albumin are useful in preoperative evaluationsStudy II: we followed energy intake in 31 patients for five postoperative days. Scheduled and unscheduled surgery did not differ in preoperative resting energy expenditure (REE). REE increased by 10-12% postoperatively, more in unscheduled CABG. Nutritional supplementation increased total energy intake. All patients exhibited postoperative energy deficits, less prominent in the supplemented group. There were no differences in protein synthesis or muscle degradation. Study III: in 16 patients, .we measured stress hormones and insulin resistance before surgery and for five postoperative days Patients were insulin resistant on the first two days. We saw no clearly adverse or beneficial effects of oral carbohydrate on insulin resistance or stress hormone response. Study IV: 73 patients, with early enteral nutrition (EN), were observed until discharge or resumed oral nutrition. EN started within three days in most patients. In a minority, problems occurred (gastric residual volumes, tube dislocation, vomiting, diarrhoea, aspiration pneumonia). In the cardiothoracic ICU individually adjusted early EN is feasible. Study V: in 16 patients, splanchnic blood flow (SBF) enhancing treatments (dopexamine (Dpx) or EN) were compared. Dpx increased systemic blood flow, but had only a transient effect on SBF. EN had no effect on systemic blood flow or SBF. Neither Dpx, EN or the combined treatment, exhibited any difference between groups on systemic or splanchnic VO2 or oxygen extraction ratio.