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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 410971, 6 pages
Review Article

Refeeding Syndrome: A Literature Review

The Combined Gastroenterology Research Unit, Scarborough Hospital, Woodland Drive, Scarborough YO12 6QL, UK

Received 1 June 2010; Revised 21 July 2010; Accepted 3 August 2010

Academic Editor: Rémy Meier

Copyright © 2011 L. U. R. Khan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Refeeding syndrome (RFS) describes the biochemical changes, clinical manifestations, and complications that can occur as a consequence of feeding a malnourished catabolic individual. RFS has been recognised in the literature for over fifty years and can result in serious harm and death. Crude estimates of incidence, morbidity, and mortality are available for specific populations. RFS can occur in any individual but more commonly occurs in at-risk populations. Increased awareness amongst healthcare professionals is likely to reduce morbidity and mortality. This review examines the physiology of RFS and describes the clinical manifestations. A management strategy is described. The importance of a multidisciplinary approach is emphasized.