Resting energy expenditure in patients with familial dysautonomia: A preliminary study

Bat El Bar Aluma*, Lucy Norcliffe-Kaufmann, Ifat Sarouk, Adi Dagan, Moshe Ashkenazi, Yael Bezalel, Daphna Vilozni, Avishay Lahad, Ori Efrati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives:Familial dysautonomia (FD) is a rare hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy characterized by chronic lung disease and cyclic vomiting due to hyper-Adrenergic crises. Most FD patients are in a depleted nutritional state; however, the phenotype of the disease is quite different between patients, as for the severity of lung disease and the intensity and frequency of these pathognomonic crises. In this study we wanted to investigate whether resting energy expenditure (REE) levels are increased in this population, and if correlations exist between REE levels and phenotype severity.Methods:Data was collected from 12 FD patients (6/6 m/f). REE measurements were conducted by indirect calorimeter. Measured REE % predicted were correlated with pulmonary function, severity of the scoliosis, serum C-reactive protein, yearly frequency of hyperadrenergic crisis, hospital admissions and the use of nocturnal noninvasive positive pressure ventilation.Results:Mean REE was 112 ±13% predicted with 50% being in a hypermetabolic state (REE/HB>110%). Body mass index (BMI) was below normal range in 75% of patients, and reduced energy intake was also decreased in 75%. No significant correlations to disease severity factors were found. When dividing the subjects to REE levels above or below 125% predicted, Patients with REE above 125% predicted presented with significantly lower inspiratory capacity (42.7% predicted vs 62.8% predicted; P = 0.04).Conclusions:Hypermetabolic state was described in 50% of FD patients. The Low BMI is explained by combination of relative anorexia and increased REE. The REE levels are related to the underling respiratory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeU54NS065736


    • autonomic
    • familial dysautonomia/HSAN III
    • malnutrition
    • resting energy expenditure


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