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Few techniques exist to evaluate nutritional status in infants and children. We determined serum fibronectin, prealbumin, and albumin values in 27 malnourished children (ages 1 mo - 21/2 yr) to assess serum fibronectin as a biochemical marker of nutritional state. Height, weight, estimated weight for age/height for age, head circumference to mid-humeral circumference ratio, and skinfold thickness measurements were obtained on admission to the study and serially. Patients' nutritional status was categorized as severe or mild-moderately malnourished or "nutritionally restored" by anthropometry;

Prealbumin and serum fibronectin were significantly decreased in patients with severe malnutrition compared to mild-moderate malnutrition or "nutritionally restored" patients. There was no sigificant difference in prealbumin and serum fibronectin concentrations in study patients with mild-moderate malnutrition compared to "nutritionally restored" patients (prealbumin p = .24, fibronectin p = .06). Albumin concentrations were higher in the better nourished patient group, however, no significant increases were seen. Serum fibronectin significantly correlated (R = 0.64, p <.01) with prealbumin (all groups compared concomitantly). Serum fibronectin may be a sensitive indicator of nutritional adequacy.

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Yoder, M., Anderson, D., Douglas, S. et al. SERUM FIBRONECTIN: AN INDICATOR OF NUTRITIONAL STATUS. Pediatr Res 18, 218 (1984) doi:10.1203/00006450-198404001-00751

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