Assessment of malnutrition parameters in head and neck cancer and their relation to postoperative complications

Marian A.E. Van Bokhorst-de Van Der Schueren, Paul A.M. Van Leeuwen*, Hans P. Sauerwein, Dirk J. Kuik, Gordon B. Snow, Jasper J. Quak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Malnutrition is reported frequently in head and neck cancer patients. The impact of malnutrition on surgical outcome is not clearly understood. The purpose of this study was to define the usefulness of six different parameters in scoring malnutrition and to determine the nutritional parameter primarily related to postoperative complications. Methods. Sixty- four patients undergoing major surgery for advanced head and neck cancer were studied prospectively, and six different parameters were used to define malnutrition. Logistic regression was used to relate nutritional parameters to postoperative complications. Results. The parameters applied all identified different aspects of the nutritional status, as malnutrition varied between 20% and 67%. Logistic regression analysis identified a weight loss of more than 10% to be the most prominent predictive parameter for the occurrence of major postoperative complications. Conclusions. Patients with weight loss more than 10% during the six months before surgery are at a great risk for the occurrence of major postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-425
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1997

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