Brain Neurorehabil.  2017 Sep;10(2):e12. 10.12786/bn.2017.10.e12.

Nutritional Assessment in Vegetative and Minimally Conscious Patients

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Ewha Womans University Medical Center, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seonam Hospital, Ewha Womans University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this study is to investigate the nutritional status in vegetative state (VS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) patients, and to identify correlation between the duration from onset and indices indicating nutritional status. This study included a total of 37 VS and MCS patients. For nutrition assessment, the body mass index (BMI), biochemical parameters such as hemoglobin, total lymphocyte count, albumin and cholesterol levels were measured. The mean BMI was 21.31 ± 2.81 kg/m2. Only 4 patients (10.81%) were classified as underweight, 24 patients (64.86%) had normal BMI, 6 patients (16.22%) were overweight, and 3 patients (8.11%) were obese. The partial correlation coefficients showed that duration from onset has a positive correlation with BMI, and a negative correlation with cholesterol level. This study suggests that regular and properly prescribed enteral feeding in VS and MCS patients would supply stable and appropriate nutrition. Further study is needed with additional nutrition assessments reflecting muscle mass.


Body Mass Index; Malnutrition; Nutritional Status; Persistent Vegetative State
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