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Criteria for classification of protein–energy wasting in dialysis patients: impact on prevalence

  • Carolina Gracia-Iguacel (a1) (a2) (a3), Emilio González-Parra (a1) (a2) (a3), Ignacio Mahillo (a1) and Alberto Ortiz (a1) (a2) (a3)


Malnutrition is highly prevalent in dialysis patients and associated with poor outcomes. In 2008, protein–energy wasting (PEW) was coined by the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism (ISRNM), as a single pathological condition in which undernourishment and hypercatabolism converge. In 2014, a new simplified score was described using serum creatinine adjusted for body surface area (sCr/BSA) to replace a reduction of muscle mass over time in the muscle wasting category. We have now compared PEW–ISRNM 2008 and PEW-score 2014 to evaluate the prevalence of PEW and the risk of death in 109 haemodialysis patients. This was a retrospective analysis of cross sectional data with a median prospective follow-up of 20 months. The prevalence of PEW was 41 % for PEW–ISRNM 2008 and 63 % for PEW-score 2014 (P<0·002). Using PEW-score 2014: twenty-nine patients (27 %) had severe malnutrition (PEW-score 2014 0–1) and forty (37 %) with moderate malnutrition (score 2). Additionally, thirty-three (30 %) patients had mild wasting and only seven patients (6 %) presented a normal nutritional status. sCr/BSA correlated with lean total mass (R 0·46. P<0·001). A diagnosis of PEW according to PEW-score 2014, but not according to PEW–ISRNM 2008, was significantly associated with short-term mortality (P=0·0349) in univariate but not in multivariate analysis (P=0·069). In conclusion, the new PEW-score 2014 incorporating sCr/BSA identifies a higher number of dialysis PEW patients than PEW–ISRNM 2008. Whereas PEW-score-2014 provides timelier and therefore more clinically relevant information, its association with early mortality needs to be confirmed in larger studies.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: C. Gracia-Iguacel, email


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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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