The usefulness of appetite and energy intake-based algorithms to assess treatment effect of a bacterial infection: An observational prospective study

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Background: The diagnosis of infectious diseases and the duration of antibiotic therapies are generally based on empirical rules. Studies implicate that the use biological markers can be used as a reliable method to shorten antibiotic therapies. The return of appetite is a clinical aspect of recovery from an infection that may be used to guide antibiotic therapies. Objective: To compare changes in appetite and daily energy intake with changes in CRP-levels in patients recovering from an infection. Design: Observational study using a consecutive sample of patients admitted to the unit for infectious diseases at a University Hospital in Sweden, February to April 2014. Energy intake, CRP-levels and appetite were recorded daily. Energy intake was calculated using estimated energy contents. Appetite was measured using a validated visual analogue scale. Changes in daily energy intakes, CRP-levels and appetite were analysed. Results: 49 patients (51% men) were included in the analysis from the overall population of 256 patients. During the length of the stay (median 3 days) CRP-levels fell in 92% of the patients (p<0.001), daily energy intake increased in 73% (median intake +6381 kJ/day, p<0.001) and appetite increased in 55% of the patients (p = 0.181). VAS-estimations of appetite augmented in 55%, decreased in 41% and were equal in 5% of the patients (p = 0.181). There was a non-significant difference in the within-subject variances in daily energy intake between female and male patients but not in other subsets. Conclusions: We found a significantly increase in the daily energy intake but not in self-estimated appetite in patients recovering from an infection. We suggest measuring the daily energy intake as a complement to other biological and clinical markers among inpatients to assess treatment effect.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0186514
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1
Publication categoryResearch