Background Malnutrition and growth retardation are important consequences in children with chronic liver disease (CLD). The aim of this study was to evaluate nutritional status and physical growth of children with CLD.
Subjects and methods Fifty children with CLD, recruited from the outpatient clinic of paediatric hepatology and from the paediatric hepatology department of Paediatric Hospital, Cairo University were enrolled in the study. Their mean age was 2.05 years, ranged from 0.5 to 5.75 years. Physical growth and nutritional status were assessed from the Z score of anthropometric parameters, using the Egyptian growth reference data.
Results Short stature was identified in 54% of patients, while malnutrition was identified in 70% of patients. Anthropometric evaluation of the upper arm, skin fold thickness and weight for height are useful parameters to evaluate nutritional status in children with CLD.
Conclusions Growth retardation and malnutrition are common complications in children with CLD, particularly with progression of liver disease severity. Therefore, nutritional support is an important aspect of therapy.