Purpose: The presence of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and its treatment might aggravate patient nutritional status. Malnutrition is one of the major factors affecting the postoperative course. We evaluated changes in perioperative nutritional status and risk factors of postoperative severe malnutrition in the GI cancer patients. Materials and Methods: Nutritional status was prospectively evaluated using patient-generated subjective global assessment (PG-SGA) perioperatively between May and September 2011. Results: A total of 435 patients were enrolled. Among them, 279 patients had been diagnosed with gastric cancer and 156 with colorectal cancer. Minimal invasive surgery was performed in 225 patients. PG-SGA score increased from 4.5 preoperatively to 10.6 postoperatively (p<0.001). Ten patients (2.3%) were severely malnourished preoperatively, increasing to 115 patients (26.3%) postoperatively. In gastric cancer patients, postoperative severe malnourishment increased significantly (p<0.006). In univariate analysis, old age (>60, p<0.001), male sex (p=0.020), preoperative weight loss (p=0.008), gastric cancer (p<0.001), and open surgery (p<0.001) were indicated as risk factors of postoperative severe malnutrition. In multivariate analysis, old age, preoperative weight loss, gastric cancer, and open surgery remained significant as risk factors of severe malnutrition. Conclusion: The prevalence of severe malnutrition among GI cancer patients in this study increased from 2.3% preoperatively to 26.3% after an operation. Old age, preoperative weight loss, gastric cancer, and open surgery were shown to be risk factors of postoperative severe malnutrition. In patients at high risk of postoperative severe malnutrition, adequate nutritional support should be considered.
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