Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Muscle power after glucose-potassium loading in undernourished patients.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 25 October 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:1055
  1. S T Chan,
  2. S J McLaughlin,
  3. G A Ponting,
  4. J Biglin,
  5. H A Dudley


    The force-frequency characteristics and maximal relaxation rate of the adductor pollicis muscle were measured before and after 48 hours of intravenous loading with glucose (104.5 kJ (25 kcal)/kg/24 h) and potassium (20 mmol(mEq)/500 ml glucose) in eight undernourished patients about to undergo surgery. Both variables of skeletal muscle performance, which were depressed when compared with data from 100 healthy volunteers, improved significantly after glucose-potassium loading. The improvement was accompanied by restoration of muscle glycogen values and return of respiratory exchange ratios towards unity. These results imply that if muscle power is a yardstick for preoperative nutritional rehabilitation then a simple regimen of energy-electrolyte repletion may be cost effective in preparing undernourished patients for major surgery.