Refeeding syndrome relevance for critically ill patients

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Refeeding Syndrome (RFS) is a potential life-threatening complication of the nutritional therapy in the replenishment phase after period of starvation. This not very known syndrome may be a life-threatening metabolic condition due to rapid, inadequate nutritional support in malnourished catabolic patients. The intake of food and therefore the switch from a catabolic to an anabolic metabolism is most considered etiological mechanism. The main biochemical feature of RFS is hypophosphatemia and low levels of potassium and magnesium. Lack of vitamins, especially vitamin B1 or thiamine is often present and involves severe clinical complications.

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