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ALTHOUGH recent developments in the field of parenteral nutrition have done a great deal to improve the care of surgical patients, both before and after operation, they have also created additional problems which must be solved if further progress is to follow. Thus in a variety of surgical situations the parenteral use of protein hydrolysates has helped materially to reduce or to minimize the catabolic loss of tissue nitrogen. This advance has been facilitated by manufacturing improvements, such as the elimination of antigenic and pyrogenic materials from the hydrolysates and the development of disposable plastic tubing. But, despite these signal advances, a number of problems remain which continue to limit the wider acceptance of these therapeutic agents. The solution of these problems must await further clinical and laboratory investigation.
Probably the greatest deterrent to the more general acceptance of the protein hydrolysates is the current necessity of administering them under