Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

Register      Login



Volume / Issue

Online First

Related articles

VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 3 ( September, 2008 ) > List of Articles


Refeeding syndrome

Swagata Tripathy, Padmini Mishra, S. C. Dash

Keywords : Hypophosphatemia, malnutrition

Citation Information : Tripathy S, Mishra P, Dash SC. Refeeding syndrome. Indian J Crit Care Med 2008; 12 (3):132-135.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.43683

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; The Author(s).


We report a case of a fifty-year-old male who was admitted with a three month history of increasing weakness, prostration, decreasing appetite and inability to swallow. The patient was a chronic alcoholic, unemployed, and of very poor socioeconomic background. The patient was initially investigated for upper GI malignancy, Addisons disease, bulbar palsy and other endocrinopathies. Concurrent management was started for severe electrolyte abnormalities and enteral nutritional supplementation was begun. By the fourth day of feeding patient developed severe hypophosphatemia and other life-threatening features suggesting refeeding syndrome. The patient was managed for the manifestations of refeeding syndrome. A final diagnosis of chronic alcoholic malnutrition with refeeding syndrome was made. Refeeding of previously starving patients may lead to a variety of complications including sudden death.

PDF Share
  1. The refeeding syndrome: A review. J Parenter Enteral Nutr 1990;14:90-7.
  2. Death resulting from overzealous total parenteral nutrition: The refeeding syndrome revisited. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:393-6.
  3. Severe hypophosphatemia following the institution of enteral feeding. Arch Surg 1989;124:1325-8.
  4. Parallels between treated uncontrolled diabetes and the refeeding syndrome with emphasis on fluid and electrolyte abnormalities. Diabetes Care 1994;17:1209-13.
  5. Refeeding syndrome induced by cautious enteral alimentation of a moderately malnourished patient. Gastroenterologist 1998;6:79-81.
  6. Paraesthesias, weakness, seizures and hypophpsphatemia in patients receiving hyperalimentation. Gastroenterology 1972;62:513-20.
  7. The refeeding syndrome: An approach to understanding its complications and preventing its occurrence. Pharmacotherapy 1995;15:713-76.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.