Association between illness severity and timing of initial enteral feeding in critically ill patients: A retrospective observational study

Department of Life Sciences, College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Cheng Kung University, No,1, University Rd,, Tainan City 701, Taiwan. .
Nutrition Journal (Impact Factor: 2.6). 05/2012; 11(1):30. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-30
Source: PubMed


Early enteral nutrition is recommended in cases of critical illness. It is unclear whether this recommendation is of most benefit to extremely ill patients. We aim to determine the association between illness severity and commencement of enteral feeding.
One hundred and eight critically ill patients were grouped as "less severe" and "more severe" for this cross-sectional, retrospective observational study. The cut off value was based on Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score 20. Patients who received enteral feeding within 48 h of medical intensive care unit (ICU) admission were considered early feeding cases otherwise they were assessed as late feeding cases. Feeding complications (gastric retention/vomiting/diarrhea/gastrointestinal bleeding), length of ICU stay, length of hospital stay, ventilator-associated pneumonia, hospital mortality, nutritional intake, serum albumin, serum prealbumin, nitrogen balance (NB), and 24-h urinary urea nitrogen data were collected over 21 days.
There were no differences in measured outcomes between early and late feedings for less severely ill patients. Among more severely ill patients, however, the early feeding group showed improved serum albumin (p = 0.036) and prealbumin (p = 0.014) but worsened NB (p = 0.01), more feeding complications (p = 0.005), and prolonged ICU stays (p = 0.005) compared to their late feeding counterparts.
There is a significant association between severity of illness and timing of enteral feeding initiation. In more severe illness, early feeding was associated with improved nutritional outcomes, while late feeding was associated with reduced feeding complications and length of ICU stay. However, the feeding complications of more severely ill early feeders can be handled without significantly affecting nutritional intake and there is no eventual difference in length of hospital stay or mortality between groups. Consequently, early feeding shows to be a more beneficial nutritional intervention option than late feeding in patients with more severe illness.

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    • "However the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia was lower and the ICU stay was shorter in the late initiation group [39]. Another OT found more gastro-intestinal complications and a longer ICU stay with early initiation of EN in patients with high illness severity [41]. Early addition of PN to insufficient EN was not associated with shorter hospital stay in another large OT [42,43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nutritional support is generally considered an essential component in the management of critically ill patients. The existing guidelines advocate early enteral nutrition, with the optimal timing for the addition of parenteral nutrition to insufficient enteral feeding being the subject of transatlantic controversy. The unphysiologic intervention of artificial nutrition in critically ill patients, however, may evoke complications and side effects. Besides the classically described complications, suppression of autophagy, potentially important for cellular repair and organ recovery, was elucidated only recently. The question whether artificial nutrition in critical illness improves or worsens outcome as compared with starvation has so far not been adequately addressed. This paper provides a critical analysis of the existing literature on ICU nutrition, highlighting important methodological shortcomings of many trials and meta-analyses and underlining the urgent need for high-quality research in this field. Recent adequately designed randomized controlled trials suggest that trophic enteral feeding during the first week of critical illness is as good as full enteral feeding and that early addition of parenteral nutrition to insufficient enteral nutrition does not provide any benefit and worsens morbidity.
    Critical care (London, England) 02/2013; 17(1):302. DOI:10.1186/cc11828 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objective: Enteral feeding is vital in the critical care setting; however, the optimal route of enteral feeding (postpyloric vs gastric feeding) remains debated. We aimed to systematically review the current evidence to see whether postpyloric feeding could provide additional benefits to intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Method: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy and safety of postpyloric feeding vs gastric feeding were included in our systematic review. Odds ratio (OR) was used for binary outcome data and weighted mean difference (WMD) was used for continuous outcome data. Summary effects were pooled using a fixed or random effects model as appropriate. Results: Seventeen RCTs were included in our meta-analysis. Postpyloric tube feeding could deliver higher proportions of estimated energy requirement (WMD, 12%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5%-18%) and reduce the gastric residual volume (GRV) (WMD, -169.1 mL; 95% CI, -291.995 to -46.196 mL). However, the meta-analysis failed to demonstrate any benefits to critically ill patients with postpyloric tube feeding in terms of mortality (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.77-1.44), new-onset pneumonia (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.53-1.13), and aspiration (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.64-2.25). There was no significant publication bias as represented by an Egger's bias coefficient of 0.21 (95% CI, -1.01 to 1.43; P = .7). Conclusion: As compared with gastric feeding, postpyloric feeding is able to deliver higher proportions of the estimated energy requirement and can help reduce the GRV.
    Nutrition in Clinical Practice 04/2013; 28(3). DOI:10.1177/0884533613485987 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diarrhea has great impact on enteral nutrition. The purpose of this review is to identify the factors leading to diarrhea during enteral nutrition and to provide the published updates on diarrhea prevention through nutritional intervention. Diarrhea in enteral fed patients is attributed to multiple factors, including medications (major contributor), infections, bacterial contamination, underlying disease, and enteral feeding. Diet management can alleviate diarrhea in enteral feeding. High content of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) in enteral formula is postulated to induce diarrhea and lower FODMAPs formula may reduce the likelihood of diarrhea in enterally fed patients. Fiber-enriched formula can reduce the incidence of diarrhea and produce short-chain fatty acids for colonocytes. Ingesting prebiotics, nonviable probiotics or probiotic derivatives, and human lactoferrin may provide alternatives for reducing/preventing diarrhea. Enteral feeding is not generally considered the primary cause of diarrhea, which is frequently linked to prescribed medications. When diarrhea is apparent, healthcare members should evaluate the possible risk factors and systematically attempt to eliminate the underlying causes of diarrhea before reducing or suspending enteral feeding. Lower FODMAPs formula, prebiotics, probiotic derivatives, and lactoferrin may be used to manage enteral feeding-related diarrhea.
    06/2013; 16(5). DOI:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328363bcaf
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