• To evaluate energy expenditure in patients who have colorectal cancer with varying stages of disease and to examine the possible determinants of energy expenditure in a group of patients with cancer who have the same type of tumor, we studied 73 patients with biopsy proven and pathologically staged adenocarcinomas of the colon and rectum. Resting energy expenditure (REE) was measured by indirect calorimetry and compared with predicted energy expenditure (PEE), which was calculated from the Harris-Benedict formulas. Nutritional and tumor characteristics were examined. Forty-nine percent of patients had abnormal REE (normal=PEE±10%). One quarter of the patients were hypometabolic (REE<90% PEE). The abnormalities persisted despite normalization of REE to metabolic body size (kg0.75) or predicted values based on weight, height, age, and sex. There were no differences in nutritional status, as judged by the percent of weight loss and visceral protein levels, between those patients in the hypometabolic, normometabolic, or hypermetabolic categories, and there were no significant relationships between energy expenditure and the tumor burden. The mean duration of disease in the normometabolic group was 4.5 months, while the hypometabolic and hypermetabolic groups had mean durations of 9.5 and 14.2 months, respectively. The tumor site and duration of the disease are important variables in studies of energy expenditure in patients with cancer.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:789-795)