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Prospective randomized study on perioperative enteral immunonutrition in laparoscopic colorectal surgery

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Perioperative nutrition for patients undergoing colon surgery seems to be effective in reducing catabolism and improving immunologic parameters. A relatively low-fiber and highly absorbable diet may facilitate the intestinal cleansing and loop relaxation fundamental for laparoscopic surgery with a lower dose of iso-osmotic laxative.


From 1 February 2004 to 30 July 2005, 28 patients referred to our unit with colon disease (neoplasms and diverticular disease) amenable to laparoscopic surgery were prospectively randomized into two groups of 14 patients each. For 6 days preoperatively, the patients in group 1 were given 750 ml/day of a diet enriched with arginine, omega-3 fatty acids, and ribonucleic acid (RNA) associated with low-fiber foods. They had 1 day of intestinal preparation with 3 l of iso-osmotic laxative. On postoperative day 2, they were fed orally with the same diet. The patients in group 2 preoperatively received a low-fiber diet. They had 2 days of preparation with iso-osmotic laxative (3 l/day). On postoperative day 3, oral nutrition was restored. Intraoperatively, we evaluated loop relaxation and intestinal cleanliness. Clinical trends were monitored in both groups, as well as adverse reactions to early nutrition. The nutritional (albumin, prealbumin) and immunologic (lymphocyte subpopulations, immunoglobulins) biohumoral parameters were evaluated at the first visit, on the day before surgery, on postoperative day 7, and 1 month after surgery.


The two groups did not differ in terms of age, gender, distribution of disease, or baseline anthropometric, biohumoral, or immunologic parameters. There was a significant increase in CD4 lymphocytes on the day before surgery as compared with baseline parameters (p < 0.05) in group 1, but not in group 2. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in intestinal loop relaxation or cleanliness or in postoperative infectious complications.


Perioperative immunonutrition proved to be safe and useful in increasing the perioperative immunologic cell response. It may contribute toward improving the preparation and relaxation of the intestinal loops despite the shorter intestinal preparation.

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Correspondence to C. Finco.

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Finco, C., Magnanini, P., Sarzo, G. et al. Prospective randomized study on perioperative enteral immunonutrition in laparoscopic colorectal surgery. Surg Endosc 21, 1175–1179 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-007-9238-4

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  • Colorectal surgery
  • Fast tracking
  • Immunonutrition
  • Laparoscopy
  • Perioperative nutrition