Aim: In order to understand the nutritional status of nondialytic patients with chronic renal failure (CRF), nutritional assessment was made in 20 nondialytic patients (15 males and 5 females; mean age 43.7 ± 15.1 years). Methods: Twenty CRF inpatients were selected for nutritional assessment, and 20 normal subjects served as controls. The serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentration was measured by ELISA. Serum albumin, prealbumin, and transferrin levels were also determined. Results: The mean IGF-I and transferrin levels in the CRF patients were significantly lower than those in normal subjects (IGF-1: 176.2 ± 92.5 µg/l vs. 266.7 ± 101.7 µg/l, p < 0.01; transferrin: 2.57 ± 0.58 g/l vs. 3.18 ± 0.27 g/l, p < 0.05). The IGF-1 levels in 7 patients with a serum albumin concentration <40.0 g/l were significantly lower than those in 13 patients with a serum albumin concentration >40.0 g/l (95.6 ± 42.4 µg/l vs. 219.6 ± 82.7 µg/l, p < 0.01). The IGF-1 levels in cases treated with α-ketoacid were higher than in those without α-ketoacid treatment. The IGF-1 levels were positively correlated with creatinine clearance (r = 0.7066, p < 0.01) and serum transferrin concentration (r = 0.5347, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The fact that serum IGF-1 was correlated with serum transferrin and creatinine clearance suggests that IGF-1 may be a good indicator for assessing the nutritional status of CRF patients. The serum IGF-1 level in CRF patients is probably lower than that in normal subjects and could be improved by nutritional therapy.

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