Document Type



Gastroenterology; Medicine


OBJECTIVE: To assess the nutritional status via the SGA (subjective global assessment) screening tool of patients at all stages of hepatitis C virus (HCV) liver disease.

STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive study.

PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: Out-patient Clinics of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, conducted from October 2009 to January 2011.

METHODOLOGY: Patients with hepatitis C virus infection and their HCV-negative attendants were enrolled from the outpatient clinics, and categorized into 4 groups of 100 patients each: healthy controls (HC), those with chronic hepatitis C infection (CHC), compensated cirrhotics (CC) and decompensated cirrhotics (DC). The validated subjective global assessment (SGA) tool was used to assess nutritional status.

RESULTS: A total of 400 patients were enrolled. Most of the patients in the HC group were class 'A' (best nutritional status). In contrast, the majority (64%) in the DC group were in the class 'C' (worst status). The compensated cirrhosis (CC) group showed that 90% of patients were malnourished, while 98% of all patients were malnourished in the DC group, predominantly class 'C'. Most importantly, 14% of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) also scored a 'B' on the SGA; which when compared to HC was statistically significant (p=0.005). As the groups progressed in their disease from CHC to DC, the transition in nutritional status from 'A' to 'C' between groups was statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Malnutrition occurs early in the course of HCV, and progresses relentlessly throughout the spectrum of HCVdisease.


Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan