Nutrition in SCI

Assessing Nutritional Status in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Principle Investigator: Mary Galea

The purpose of this study is to measure energy expenditure in people soon after their SCI. This is important to ensure that patients are provided with the appropriate level of nutrition. In the early period after SCI, energy use is higher than usual because of the injury and there is a danger of malnourishment. However, currently it is not clear exactly how much energy is used. Dietitians currently estimate a patient’s nutritional requirements using standard equations of normal resting metabolism, adjusted for activity and stress levels. These equations have never been validated in this population. To do this, metabolic activity will be measured using a technique called doubly-labeled water.

This study also aims to validate the use of bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) to measure segmental body composition in acute SCI. BIA is an objective, non-invasive and cost-effective clinical tool for longitudinal assessment in this population, where nutritional needs change through the recovery period. BIA measures will be validated by DEXA.


Austin Health, CRLO,  Janette Alexander – - 03 9496 5218

Austin Health, CRLO, Melinda Millard – - 03 9496 5906

Our Mission

Spinal Research Institute (SRI) is a not-for-profit spinal cord research charity. Our mission is to support world class clinical research and clinical trials. We provide means for Australian and international spinal cord injury (SCI) researchers to build much needed collaboration and to translate research outcomes into life changing health solutions for people living with SCI.

Support Us

Vital investment is needed to support research into new and better treatments that will improve the quality of life of people living with spinal cord injury... Be part of it!

Tweet Feed

Be our Partner

Here at The SRI we encourage businesses and organisations of all sizes to recognise the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility and to strive to be great corporate citizens by aligning our brands for bigger and better outcomes. With us you can make an impact – now!