International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 513–520

Influence of postoperative enteral nutrition on cellular immunity. A random double-blinded placebo controlled clinical trial

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00384-011-1335-0

Cite this article as:
Beier-Holgersen, R. & Brandstrup, B. Int J Colorectal Dis (2012) 27: 513. doi:10.1007/s00384-011-1335-0



The aim of this study was to discover if the cellular immunological response is different in patients receiving early postoperative enteral nutrition compared to patients who only receive “water”.


In a random double-blind prospective trial, 30 patients received Nutridrink® and 30 patients received placebo (water) through a nasoduodenal tube from the day of operation to the fourth postoperative day. Leukocyte differential count was examined preoperatively, and on the first, third, and seventh postoperative days. Subpopulations of lymphocytes were flow cytometrically analysed. IL-1ra and soluble IL-2R were investigated by use of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


In the enteral nutrition group, a significantly larger number of circulating monocytes and NK-cells and a significantly larger expression of HLA-DR were found. In the nutrition group, a tendency to larger numbers of T-lymphocyte subpopulations was found. No difference in IL-1ra and soluble IL-2R was found between the groups.


Early postoperative enteral nutrition has an important influence on the immediate unspecific cellular immunity and an activating effect on the specific cellular immunity compared to “no food”.


Abdominal surgery Postoperative nutrition Cellular immunity HLA-DR Natural killer cells Monocytes 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryHillerød University HospitalHillerødDenmark
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryHvidovre University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.HelsingørDenmark

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