Protein turnover in patients before and after elective orthopaedic operations
Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1977 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.
British Journal of Surgery
Volume 64, Issue 2, pages 129–133, February 1977
How to Cite
Crane, C. W., Picou, D., Smith, R. and Waterlow, J. C. (1977), Protein turnover in patients before and after elective orthopaedic operations. Br J Surg, 64: 129–133. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800640212
- Issue online: 7 DEC 2005
- Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2005
Whole body protein turnover was measured in 11 patients before and after elective orthopaedic operations by giving 15N-glycine orally every 4 hours for 32 hours. The patients were maintained throughout on a constant protein intake. In 2 control subjects a comparison was made between intermittent dosage and continuous infusion of 15N-giycinefor the estimation of total protein turnover. With intermittent dosage the 15N abundance in urinary urea reached a constant level after about 24 hours. Rates of total protein synthesis and breakdown were calculated from the 15N abundance at the plateau level. After surgery there was a moderate increase in urinary N output. The apparent N balance (intake—urinary N) was −0·52 ± 1.31 g/d (mean ± s.d.) before operation and −7·51 ± 4.5 g/d after operation. The rate of protein synthesis fell from 3·83 ± 0·73g kg−1 d−1 before operation to 2·94 ± 0·83 g kg−1 d−1 after operation. This difference is statistically significant (0·05 > P > 0·01). There was no significant change in the rate of protein breakdown. The possibility remains that a block in protein synthesis, probably mainly in muscle, may be partly responsible for the so-called atabolicloss of nitrogen after injury, but this has not been proved.