Background & aims: To investigate the effects of glucose, parenteral amino acids, and intravenous insulin on albumin synthesis rates in critically ill children. Methods: Two studies were performed in 8 post-surgical infants (age 9.8 ± 1.9 months; weight 9.5 ± 1.1 kg) and 9 septic adolescents (age 15 ± 1 yr; BMI 23 ± 4 kg m-2), respectively. All received a primed, constant, tracer infusion with [1-13C]Leucine. The infants in study 1 were randomized to receive low (2.5 mg kg-1min-1) and standard (5.0 mg kg-1min-1) glucose intake in a cross-over setting of two periods of 4 h each. The adolescents in study 2 were randomized to receive total parenteral nutrition with standard (1.5 g kg-1day-1) and high (3.0 g kg-1day-1) amino acid intake in a two day cross-over setting. On both study days, during the last 3 h of the tracer study, they received insulin infused at 80 mU m-2min-1. Results: The post-surgical infants and the septic adolescents were mildly hypoalbuminemic (∼2.5 g dL-1) with high synthesis rates, which were not affected by different intakes of glucose, amino acids, or insulin infusion. Conclusions: Albumin synthesis rates in hypoalbuminemic critically ill children are high but were not upregulated through nutrient supply, and in septic adolescents are unaffected by insulin.

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Clinical Nutrition
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verbruggen, S., Schierbeek, H., Coss-Bu, J., Joosten, K., Castillo, L., & van Goudoever, H. (2011). Albumin synthesis rates in post-surgical infants and septic adolescents; influence of amino acids, energy, and insulin. Clinical Nutrition, 30(4), 469–477. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2011.02.001