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Supplementation with key nutrients reduced postoperative infections and length of hospital stay after gastrointestinal surgery

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QUESTION: In well nourished patients with cancer of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is preoperative supplementation (PSUP) or PSUP plus postoperative enteral nutrition (POEN) with key nutrients more effective than conventional treatment (COTR) for reducing postoperative infections and length of hospital stay?


Randomised (allocation concealed), unblinded, controlled trial with 30 days of follow up after hospital discharge.


Department of surgery, San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.


305 patients (mean age 64 y, 54% men) who had histologically documented cancer of the GI tract and planned major elective surgery. Exclusion criteria included weight loss ≥10% (with respect to usual body weight) in the …

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  • For correspondence: Dr L Gianotti, Chirurgia 3°, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Milan, Italy. luca.gianotti{at}

  • Source of funding: diets provided by Novartis Consumer Health (Bern, Switzerland).