Background: Patients who exhibit gastrointestinal (GI) involvement due to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) are often recommended to withhold oral intake (NPO) to avoid further damage to the GI mucosa. However, it is possible that continuing oral intake could be beneficial in many patients compared to total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Objective: The primary objective of this prospective study was to evaluate whether programmed step-ladder oral dieting (enteral nutrition; EN) is feasible and beneficial for these patients. Methods: A total of 18 patients who exhibited GI-acute GVHD (stage I to III gut GVHD) after SCT received an EN dieting program, and changes in clinical and laboratory parameters were compared to those in a control cohort of 17 patients who were placed on NPO with TPN. Patients with GVHD were included prospectively and those with intestinal bleeding/obstruction, severe pancreatitis, and cytomegalovirus enterocolitis were excluded. Results: None of the patients in the EN group experienced significant adverse events, including exacerbation of GI symptoms. Although there was no statistically significant difference in the volume or frequency of diarrhea or the time to complete dietary recovery, parameters including body weight and serum levels of total protein and albumin tended to improve faster in the EN group. Conclusion: The EN diet is safely applicable to patients suffering from GI involvement by GVHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas