Nutritional markers accompanying acquired chylothorax in infants: a systematic review

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Nutrition reviews


CONTEXT: Chylothorax is a well-established acquired complication of thoracic surgery in infants. Current data suggest acquired chylothorax may affect infant growth and nutrition because of a loss of essential nutrients via chylous effusion. OBJECTIVE: The 3 objectives for this study were: (1) identify nutritional markers affected by the development of acquired chylothorax in infants; (2) highlight the variability in methods used to assess nutritional status and growth in this patient population; and (3) highlight nutritional deficits that can serve as treatment targets during postoperative feeding protocols. DATA SOURCES: A systematic literature search was conducted between May 31, 2021, and June 21, 2022, using the PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases. Search terms included, but were not limited to, "chylothorax," "infants," and "nutrition." DATA EXTRACTION: Inclusion criteria required studies that measured quantitative markers of nutrition in ≥10 participants aged level, triglyceride levels, growth velocity, and weight for length. DATA ANALYSIS: The variation in methods, time points, interventional groups, and nutritional markers did not facilitate a meta-analysis. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias in Nonrandomized Studies assessment tool. CONCLUSION: This review highlights the need for reliable quantitative markers of nutrition that will enable providers to assess the nutritional needs of infants with chylothorax. Future studies must focus on measuring markers of nutrition at regular intervals in larger study populations.

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