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Biomarkers for Acute MN

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Hatty Barthorp

Global Nut Advisor / GOAL

Normal user

8 Nov 2016, 10:20

Would anyone be able to shed light on reliable biomarkers that can be used to assess acute MN in young children and infants <6m? Background reading suggests there is currently no gold standard to assess malnutrition through biomarkers. Whereas previously Prealbumin (PAB) - also call Transthyretin or TTR – has been seen as the indicator of choice to identify under nutrition in clinical settings, it appears this is now up for debate, as evidence has been shown that PAB is confounded by the presence of inflammation. It has been suggested that there could be a way around this (by also analysing C-Reactive Protein (CRP) an indicator of inflammation), but it might be difficult to use PAB and CRP for research purposes, as this may significantly reduce the study population we aim to assess, of <6 m infants with SAM.

The study we are looking to undertake, aims to investigate potential MUAC cut-offs in infants <6mths in relation to the existing anthropometric indices (WLZ, WAZ), in order to assess nutritional status. In conjunction with a direct anthropometric comparison, we would very much like to compare the various anthropometric indices to biomarkers, that might provide a more definitive diagnosis of MN.

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