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ABSTRACT: The iatrogenic malnutrition of neurosurgical patients in intensive care units (ICU) is an underestimated problem. It may cause a decrease in plasma albumin and oncotic pressure, leading to an increase in the amount of water entering the brain and increased intracranial pressure (ICP). This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that combined high-protein parenteral and enteral nutrition is beneficial for neurosurgical patients in ICU. A total of 202 neurosurgical patients in ICU (mean age+/-standard deviation, 56 years+/-16 years; male:female=1.2:1) were studied. Two consecutive 1-year time periods were compared, during which two different nutritional regimens were followed. In the first time period (Y1) patients were given a low-protein/high-fat formulation parenterally, followed by a standard enteral regimen. In the second time period (Y2) a protein-rich, combined parenteral and enteral diet was prospectively administered. The Glasgow Outcome Score was measured at 3-6 months after discharge. The following clinical parameters were recorded during the first 2 weeks after admission: ICP; albumin; cholinesterase (CHE); daily hours of ICP > 20 mmHg and cerebral perfusion pressure<70 mmHg; and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score. It was found that overall albumin (32.4 g/L+/-4.1g/L vs. 27.5 g/L+/-3.6g/L) and CHE was higher during Y2, although the total energy supply, glucose and fat intake was lower. Higher GOS scores were seen when patients had lower APACHE II scores and received the Y2 nutritional regimen. During Y2, the total hours of ICP > 20 mmHg were fewer. With the Y2 nutrition, maintenance of adequate cerebral perfusion required less catecholamine medication and colloidal fluid replacement. Therefore, adequate nutrition is an important parameter in the management of neurosurgical patients in ICU.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 07/2009; 16(9):1161-7. · 1.25 Impact Factor