Diplomé en médicine in 2012 ULB
Enseignement complémentaire : Master complémentaire en pédiatrie, 5 ième année Université Libre de Bruxelles
Validation of anthropometric and clinical measures in the evaluation of the nutritional status of neurologically impaired children
Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, Lille and Hôpital des Enfants Reine Fabiola, Brussels
Neurologically impaired children are a population at high risk of malnutrition due to lack of communication means, swallowing difficulties and various gastrointestinal disorders associated with their neurological disease.
Through a cross sectional study, this work aims to validate several anthropometric and clinical items as markers of the nutritional status in this population.
In May 2017, the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) issued new recommendations for nutritional assessment and management of neurologically impaired children. They recommend measuring height-for-age, weight-for-height and body mass index in every child, and identify five warning signs of malnutrition which are skin problems and poor peripheral circulation, weight-for-age, triceps skinfold, mid-upper-arm circumference and faltering growth or failure to thrive.(1) Data concerning these factors exist but are scarce, and only deliver moderate or low grades of evidence.(2–5) Further studies are thus urgently needed to confirm the accuracy of these signs to detect malnutrition. We decided to concentrate on these items and compare them to the gold standard method of evaluation, the whole body Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, which is also a recommendation of ESPGHAN.(1,6)
We believe that this work will help to systematize the evaluation of nutrition in neurologically impaired children, and therefore optimize the management of feeding issues, avoiding numerous expected complications that can arise from poor nutritional status.