Serum prealbumin level is useful for assessment of changes in nutritional status but it is markedly affected by the inflammation. In this study, we examined the efficacy of the corrected rapid turnover protein increment index (CRII) for prealbumin, which is calculated as [prealbumin level/C-reactive protein (CRP) level on the assessment day]/[prealbumin level/CRP level on the day of starting nutritional care], for prediction of improvement of nutritional status in patients with malnutrition. The subjects were 50 hospitalized patients with low albuminemia, who were receiving nutritional care. Serum concentrations of albumin, prealbumin and CRP were measured every week for 5 weeks. We defined patients whose serum albumin level was elevated by more than 0.2 g/dl after 5 weeks as those showing improved nutritional status. There was a significant difference in the prealbumin level between improved and unimproved patients at 5 weeks after the start of nutritional support. On the other hand, the prealbumin CRII value showed a significant difference between the groups at 1 and 2 weeks after the start of nutritional support. In conclusion, assessment of prealbumin CRII is useful for early prediction of improved nutritional status in patients with malnutrition.
Keywords: prealbumin, nutritional assessment, C-reactive protein, inflammation, rapid turn over protein