Konstantinos Gerasimidis, Professor of Clinical Nutrition

Human Nutrition, School of Medicine
University of Glasgow

Professor Konstantinos Gerasimidis is Professor of Clinical Nutrition, at the School of Medicine, University of Glasgow. He has graduated in Nutrition and Dietetics and completed his postgraduate studies in Clinical Nutrition. Professor Gerasimidis’ clinical research investigates the link between malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and clinical outcomes in adults and children with acute and chronic disease. He was previously the Allied Health Professional representative in the Nutrition Committee of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN); He is the Chair of the Clinical Malnutrition Group of ESPGHAN.

Vitamin and Trace Element Status in Sick Children: Assessment and Interpretation

Assessment of vitamin and trace element status is important in the clinical management of the sick child. Health professional association recommend routine screening of micronutrient deficiencies in children with chronic illness and correction of deficits with supplementation. In this presentation we describe the main approaches to assess the micronutrient body status of an individual patient including clinical examination, dietary assessment, and measurement of direct and indirect biomarkers of micronutrients in biological samples. Among then, use of biomarkers is the most common approach to assess vitamin and trace element status in routine practice but in the presence of systemic inflammatory response and in the absence of appropriate paediatric reference intervals, interpretation of biomarker results might be challenging and potentially mislead clinical practice. The use of a multimodal approach, including clinical examination, dietary assessment, and laboratory biomarkers is proposed as the optimal way to ascertain the micronutrient status of individual patients. In the presence of acute inflammatory conditions, micronutrient measurements in plasma should be replaced by biomarkers not affected by systemic inflammatory response, delayed until inflammatory state is resolved or complemented with other assessments.