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Published Online: 29 January 2009

Zinc Supplementation Is Associated with Improved Neurologic Recovery Rate and Visceral Protein Levels of Patients with Severe Closed Head Injury

Publication: Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 13, Issue Number 1


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.

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cover image Journal of Neurotrauma
Journal of Neurotrauma
Volume 13Issue Number 1JANUARY 1996
Pages: 25 - 34
PubMed: 8714860


Published online: 29 January 2009
Published in print: JANUARY 1996


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