Study of Glutamate and Glutamine Metabolism in Burn Patients Receiving Enteral or Parenteral Nutrition

08:28 EDT 29th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of the study is to understand how the body uses amino acids in burned patients during the time they cannot eat normally. Amino acids occur naturally in the body and the food we eat. The body combines amino acids to make protein. It uses the proteins to do things such as heal wounds, fight infection, and provide energy. We are studying two ways of receiving nutrition: through a vein or through a tube. We are also studying two different types of food: with or without glutamine. The results of this study will be used to determine the best type and way to supply nutrients during a severe burn injury. We hope to learn how to help the body use nutrients more efficiently to better repair wounded tissues and recover earlier from injury.


We hypothesize that:

1. Burn patients will experience an increased conversion of glutamine to glutamate and a decreased conversion of glutamate to glutamine as compared to healthy subjects. The net direction is from glutamine to glutamate in burn patients and would render glutamine as a conditionally essential amino acid.

2. Because of the limited ability of liver to oxidize glutamate, it is possible that large doses of glutamine may cause increased gluconeogenesis in burn patients, thus aggravating the glucose homeostasis secondary to insulin resistance.

3. Enterally and parenterally fed glutamine and glutamate have different metabolic fate in the splanchnic bed and peripheral regions, therefore the doses should be tailored according to the route of administration.

This study, using stable isotope tracers, aims to track the metabolic fate of glutamine and glutamate in body with the goal of enhancing nutritional efficiency.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment




standard vs. glutamine enteral or parenteral feeding., Stable isotope tracer study, Stable isotope study, Stable isotope tracer study, Stable isotope tracer study


Massachusetts General Hospital Burn Unit
United States


Not yet recruiting


National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Nutritional support given via the alimentary canal or any route connected to the gastrointestinal system (i.e., the enteral route). This includes oral feeding, sip feeding, and tube feeding using nasogastric, gastrostomy, and jejunostomy tubes.

The administering of nutrients for assimilation and utilization by a patient who cannot maintain adequate nutrition by enteral feeding alone. Nutrients are administered by a route other than the alimentary canal (e.g., intravenously, subcutaneously).

The at-home administering of nutrients for assimilation and utilization by a patient who cannot maintain adequate nutrition by enteral feeding alone. Nutrients are administered via a route other than the alimentary canal (e.g., intravenously, subcutaneously).

Hydrogen. The first chemical element in the periodic table. It has the atomic symbol H, atomic number 1, and atomic weight 1. It exists, under normal conditions, as a colorless, odorless, tasteless, diatomic gas. Hydrogen ions are PROTONS. Besides the common H1 isotope, hydrogen exists as the stable isotope DEUTERIUM and the unstable, radioactive isotope TRITIUM.

Techniques for labeling a substance with a stable or radioactive isotope. It is not used for articles involving labeled substances unless the methods of labeling are substantively discussed. Tracers that may be labeled include chemical substances, cells, or microorganisms.

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