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acute care, arginine, long-term care, nutrition, nutrition supplementation, older adults, pressure injury, supplementation, systematic review, wound healing



  1. Schneider, Kara L. MS, RD, LD
  2. Yahia, Najat PhD, MS, RD, LD


OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of arginine supplementation on wound healing, as measured by wound size and healing rate, in older adults in acute and long-term care (LTC) settings.


DATA SOURCES: PubMed, CINAHL Plus, Google Scholar, and OpenGrey databases.


STUDY SELECTION: Randomized clinical trials and clinical studies were considered for this review. Selection criteria included English-language articles published after 2008 that provide data on older adults with pressure injury receiving arginine supplementation in acute care and LTC settings.


DATA EXTRACTION: Data were extracted from the articles using a predefined checklist including study size and design, participant characteristics (age, pressure injury stage, relevant comorbidities), nutrition intervention and dosage, duration of study, outcomes, and publication year. Studies were appraised using the National Institutes of Health's Quality Assessment of Controlled Intervention Studies tool.


DATA SYNTHESIS: A preliminary search yielded 39 articles after removing duplicates. Abstracts and titles of articles were screened, and 23 full-text articles were examined further. Ultimately, six articles met the inclusion criteria.


CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence suggests that arginine supplementation in conjunction with oral nutrition supplementation may promote wound healing in older adult patients in acute care and LTC settings as evidenced by significant reductions in wound size and improvements in wound healing when compared with oral nutrition supplementation alone. A definitive conclusion about the use of arginine supplementation alone to promote wound healing cannot be drawn because of limitations in the available literature. Additional high-quality studies are needed to examine arginine supplementation alone as a potential therapy for PI.