Usefulness of the mini nutritional assessment in predicting the nutritional status of patients with liver cancer in Taiwan

Alan C Tsai, Wei-Chung Hsu, Shu-Ching Chan, Tusi-Lan Chang
Nutrition and Cancer 2011, 63 (3): 334-41
Liver cancer patients are confronted with the additional risk of malnutrition because the disease is often associated with hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and metabolic disturbances. Nutritional intervention can improve treatment outcome, but early detection is important. This study aimed to determine whether the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) could effectively rate the nutritional status of patients with liver cancer in Taiwan. A total of 300 patients were evaluated for nutritional status with two modified versions of the MNA in short and long forms. MNA-Taiwan Version 1 adopted population-specific anthropometric cutpoints, whereas Version 2 replaced mid-arm and calf circumferences in place of body mass index. Predicted statuses were compared to results predicted by the Council on Nutrition Appetite Questionnaire (CNAQ) and analyzed for correlations with biochemical or cancer status parameters. Results showed that both versions of the MNA were effective in predicting nutritional status, and predictions by the short forms agreed well with those by the long forms. The nutritional scores correlated well with hemoglobin, serum albumin, C-reactive protein, r-glutamyl transpeptidase, TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) staging, and severity of cirrhosis. These results suggest that the MNA can be an effective tool for assessing the nutritional status of patients with liver cancer.

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