Refeeding syndrome


This recently published article in the BMJ reminds us of the critical issues associated with referring syndrome” Mehanna et al (20018).


“Refeeding syndrome is a well described but often forgotten condition. No randomised controlled trials of treatment have been published, although there are guidelines that use best available evidence for managing the condition.

In 2006 a guideline was published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in England and Wales. Yet because clinicians are often not aware of the problem, refeeding syndrome still occurs. This review aims to raise awareness of refeeding syndrome and discuss prevention and treatment. The available literature mostly comprises weaker (level 3 and 4) evidence, including cohort studies, case series, and consensus expert opinion. Our article also draws attention to the NICE guidelines on nutritional support in adults, with particular reference to the new recommendations for best practice in refeeding syndrome. These recommendations differ in parts from and we believe improve on previous guidelines, such as those of the Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Group of the British Dietetic Association” (Mehanna et al 2008).


Mehanna, H.M., Moledina, J. and Travis, J. (2008) Refeeding syndrome: what it is, and how to prevent and treat it. BMJ. 336, p.1495-1498.

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