Zinc supplementation is associated with improved neurologic recovery rate and visceral protein levels of patients with severe closed head injury

Byron Young, Linda Ott, Edward Kasarskis, Robert Rapp, Kay Moles, Robert J. Dempsey, Phillip A. Tibbs, Richard Kryscio, Craig McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sixty-eight patients were entered into a randomized, prospective, double- blinded controlled trial of supplemental zinc versus standard zinc therapy to study the effects of zinc supplementation on neurologic recovery and nutritional/metabolic status after severe closed head injury. One month after injury, the mortality rates in the standard zinc group and the zinc- supplemented group were 26 and 12%, respectively. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of the zinc-supplemented group exceeded the adjusted mean GCS score of the standard group at day 28 (p = 0.03). Mean motor GCS score levels of the zinc-supplemented group were significantly higher on days 15 and 21 than those of the control group (p = 0.005, p = 0.02). This trend continued on day 28 of the study (p = 0.09). The groups did not differ in serum zinc concentration, weight, energy expenditure, or total urinary nitrogen excretion after hospital admission. Mean 24-h urine zinc levels were significantly higher in the zinc-supplemented group at days 2 (p = 0.0001) and 10 (p = 0.01) after injury. Mean serum prealbumin concentrations were significantly higher in the zinc-supplemented group (p = 0.003) at 3 weeks after injury. A similar pattern was found for mean serum retinol binding protein level (p = 0.01). A significantly larger number of patients in the standard zinc group had craniotomies for evacuation of hematoma; thus a bias may have been present. The results of this study indicate that zinc supplementation during the immediate postinjury period is associated with improved rate of neurologic recovery and visceral protein concentrations for patients with severe closed head injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996

Keywords

  • head injury
  • neurologic outcome
  • nutritional/metabolic status
  • zinc supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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