All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for February 2003

Trial of Glutamine Supplementation of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Vnitr Lek 2002 Nov;48(11):1039-48
Benes P, Pytlik R, Chocenska E, Pat'orkova M, Klepetar J, Prochazka B, Gregora E, Kozak T, Andel M.
II. interni klinika 3. lekarske fakulty UK a FN Kralovske Vinohrady, Praha.


High-dose chemotherapy is aggressive treatment modality adversely affecting both energy/protein demands and oral intake/resorption of nutrients.

Amino acid glutamine is known for its proteoanabolic effect and as an energy source for enterocytes and immune system.

Nutritional parameters have been studied in a controlled, randomised, double-blinded trial of parenteral glutamine supplementation of autologous stem cell transplant patients.


Forty consecutive patients with haematological and solid cancer and multiple sclerosis were treated from 1999 to 2001 by high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation.

Patients were randomly assigned either for parenteral administration of 30 g of alanyl-glutamine dipeptide (Dipeptiven, Fresenius-Kabi) or isonitrogenous glutamine-free amino acid solution from day +1 to day +14 or to discharge from hospital.

Patients were closely monitored from admission to day +100.

Nutritional parameters included: oral dietary intake, body weight, body composition, energy expenditure, concentration of serum proteins and nitrogen balance.

Parenteral nutrition in dose of 26.5 kcal/kg and 1 g of aminoacid/kg was given to patients who did not reach adequate oral intake for 5 days and withheld after three consecutive days of adequate intake.


Nutritional assessment on admission differed according to the method used but no parameter of nutrition predicted the clinical course of treatment.

Inadequate oral intake period lasted (mean +/- SD) 6.8 +/- 5.9 days, average length of stay being 17.5 +/- 3.9 days.

Patients were unable to use sipping of enteral feed.

Resting energy expenditure neither on admission nor in critical period differed from predicted value.

Serum protein concentrations significantly decreased on discharge with normalisation as soon as to day +28, correlating inversely with changes in extracellular water content.

Nitrogen urine loss was 10-16 g/day.

Only 42.5% of patients were treated with parenteral nutrition.

Cumulative nitrogen balance at day +9 was -30.7 +/- 24.1 g N.

Body weight at day +28 significantly decreased (-2.94 +/- 4.4 kg), mostly consisting of loss of pure body cell mass.

Glutamine supplementation did not improve any of the listed nutritional parameters.


High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation causes proteocatabolism of medium severity.

Nutritional status of patients cannot be improved by the mode and dosage of parenteral glutamine used in our study.

Optimal nutritional monitoring and treatment for this group of patients is suggested.