Background and Aim: Refeeding hypophosphatemia (RH) is associated with poor clinical outcomes and mortality. The presence of RH in patients with liver cirrhosis remains unclear. This study aims to determine the frequency of RH related to nutritional status and disease severity in liver cirrhosis.

Methods: This study was prospectively conducted in a-single center gastroenterology clinic. Malnutrition was identified by Subjective Global Assessment (SGA). The disease severity was defined using Child score and MELD score. Serum phosphate levels <2.0 mg/dl are defined as hypophosphatemia.

Results: Twelve of 50 cirrhotic patients (24%) had RH during hospitalization. The most common RH was determined in 4 patients on day 4 during study follow up. The sharpest decline of serum phosphate levels was on day 4 (median: 2.3mg/dL). The Child score and MELD score were not significantly different between RH and Non-RH groups (p>0.05). The rate of malnutrition according to SGA was 56.0%. A total of 82%, 4%, 8%, and 4% of participants received regular diet and oral nutritional supplements, only enteral tube feeding, only parenteral nutrition, and combined enteral and parenteral nutrition, respectively. In the RH group, 32% of participants received only parenteral nutrition and had a higher presence of RH than patients receiving only oral or enteral tube feding (p<0.05).

Conclusions: RH developed in ¼ of the study participants. This study also showed that artificial feeding carries a significant risk in terms of RH. Malnourished patients with liver cirrhosis receiving parenteral nutrition, closely monitored regarding high risk of RH.


cirrhosis, nutrition, hypophosphatemia, refeeding, refeeding hypophosphatemia