Nutritional management of persistent diarrhea: factors predicting clinical outcome

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


In a prospective study we randomized 102 male children (age 6-36 months) with persistent diarrhea to receive a traditional rice-lentil (Khitchri) diet and yogurt (K-Y) or a soy formula (alone for seven days and then in combination with K-Y for seven days). Of 73 children satisfying the study criteria, 66 were successfully treated and there were 7 treatment failures. There was poor concordance between parental accounts of severity of diarrhea or vomiting and that observed after admission. Significant risk factors associated with treatment failure included younger age (p < 0.005) and vomiting at presentation (p < 0.02). The greatest number of risk factors associated with delayed recovery (> 10 days) were identified during an initial evaluation period (the first 8 h after admission). These included greater severity of watery diarrhoea (p < 0.01) and increased ORS intake (p < 0.02). Our data suggest that an initial evaluation period, including objective observations, may identify children with persistent diarrhea who are at greatest need of hospitalization.


Acta Paediatrica