Nutritional support for head-injured patients

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Nutrition & Public Health Intervention Research Unit, Keppel Street, London, UK.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2006; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001530.pub2
Source: PubMed


Head injury increases the body's metabolic responses, and therefore nutritional demands. Provision of an adequate supply of nutrients is associated with improved outcome. The best route for administering nutrition (parenterally (TPN) or enterally (EN)), and the best timing of administration (for example, early versus late) of nutrients needs to be established.
To quantify the effect on mortality and morbidity of alternative strategies of providing nutritional support following head injury.
Trials were identified by computerised searches of the Cochrane Injuries Group specialised register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, National Research Register, Web of Science and other electronic trials registers. Reference lists of trials and review articles were checked. The searches were last updated in July 2006.
Randomised controlled trials of timing or route of nutritional support following acute traumatic brain injury.
Two authors independently abstracted data and assessed trial quality. Information was collected on death, disability, and incidence of infection. If trial quality was unclear, or if there were missing outcome data, trialists were contacted in an attempt to get further information.
A total of 11 trials were included. Seven trials addressed the timing of support (early versus delayed), data on mortality were obtained for all seven trials (284 participants). The relative risk (RR) for death with early nutritional support was 0.67 (95% CI 0.41 to 1.07). Data on disability were available for three trials. The RR for death or disability at the end of follow-up was 0.75 (95% CI 0.50 to 1.11). Seven trials compared parenteral versus enteral nutrition. Because early support often involves parenteral nutrition, three of the trials are also included in the previous analyses. Five trials (207 participants) reported mortality. The RR for mortality at the end of follow-up period was 0.66 (0.41 to 1.07). Two trials provided data on death and disability. The RR was 0.69 (95% Cl 0.40 to 1.19). One trial compared gastric versus jejunal enteral nutrition, there were no deaths and the RR was not estimable.
This review suggests that early feeding may be associated with a trend towards better outcomes in terms of survival and disability. Further trials are required. These trials should report not only nutritional outcomes but also the effect on death and disability.

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Available from: Pablo Perel, Jan 14, 2014
    • "In line with a study on patients with stroke in acute care (Mosselman et al., 2013), but in contrast to other studies (Dènes, 2004; Esper et al., 2006; Perel et al., 2008), no association was found between risk of malnutrition and severity of injury, incidence of complications, decreased functional outcome from rehabilitation efforts, or length of stay at a rehabilitation hospital. Special attention on nutrition is needed to prevent malnutrition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is a paucity of studies, which have described malnutrition in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) across etiology. This study describes weight change, malnutrition, and potential associations in patients with ABI at a subacute inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Method: This is a descriptive cohort study. Ninety-eight patients were admitted in a 3-month period, of whom n = 76 met inclusion criteria. The Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool was used for categorizing patients according to risk of malnutrition. Results: Patients had experienced weight loss of 5.59% ± 5.89% (p < .001) at admission at the rehabilitation hospital, and patients with traumatic brain injury had experienced a greater weight loss than patients with stroke (p < .01). Thirty percent of patients were at high risk for malnutrition, and 52% of these patients received enteral or parenteral nutrition at admission at the rehabilitation hospital. No association was found between risk of malnutrition and severity of injury, complications, functional outcome, or length of stay. Conclusion: RESULTS underline the importance that nurses, especially in acute care, adhere to clinical guidelines to minimize weight loss. Special attention should be on patients with traumatic brain injury. Weight gain in the following course of rehabilitation may facilitate positive rehabilitation outcomes.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
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    • "In these conditions, adequate nutritional support seems to be critical in the management of HI patients, especially in order to restore immunity and to preserve gastrointestinal structure and functions (Todd et al., 2006). However, in the literature, there are few trials related to nutritional support of HI patients, and there are no evidence-based nutritional recommendations for these patients (Perel et al., 2007). In most cases, standard polymeric diets are used in order to provide nutrients, since these patients are unable to eat sufficiently to "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most severe injuries encountered in intensive care units. TBI patients exhibit protein wasting and gastrointestinal dysfunction, which may be risk factors for a septic state. Specific nutritional support may be required for these patients, and we hypothesize that standard nutritional support does not allow restoration of the nutritional state of TBI patients. A well-validated rat model of TBI by fluid percussion was used. Rats were randomized into three groups: healthy rats receiving standard chow diet ad libitum (AL), rats sustaining TBI and receiving standard chow diet (TBI), and rats sustaining TBI and receiving a standard enteral diet (TBI-EN) for 4 days. TBI in rats was characterized by anorexia, body weight loss (AL: +15 +/- 5 g versus TBI: -11 +/- 4 g and TBI-EN: -8 +/- 4 g; p < 0.05), decrease in nitrogen balance (AL: 2.9 +/- 0.2 g versus TBI: 1.0 +/- 0.2 g and TBI-EN: 0.2 +/- 0.2 g, p < 0.05) associated with decrease in muscular protein content (extensor digitorum longus [EDL]: AL: 36 +/- 2 mg versus TBI: 26 +/- 3 mg and TBI-EN: 28 +/- 2 mg; p < 0.05), and intestinal atrophy (ileum: AL: 673 +/- 42 mg versus TBI: 442 +/- 23 mg and TBI-EN: 377 +/- 27 mg; p < 0.05). Interestingly, standard enteral nutrition was not effective in restoring any of these parameters. This work confirms that TBI is associated with profound nutritional alterations and has a major impact on nitrogen metabolism and on intestinal trophicity. It also demonstrates that using standard enteral nutrition cannot reverse this phenomenon. Thus, developing new nutritional strategies to cover TBI patients' specific nutritional requirements appears mandatory.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Journal of neurotrauma
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    • "However, TBI results in a hypermetabolic and catabolic state that increases systemic and cerebral energy requirements (Clifton et al., 1986; Deutschman et al., 1986; Hovda et al., 1995; Weekes and Elia, 1996). A recent review from the Cochrane Collaboration states that early feeding may be associated with a trend towards better outcomes after TBI (Perel et al., 2006). The " Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury " recommend that the patient's feeding requirements should be met by the end of the first week after TBI (Brain Trauma Foundation, 2000). "

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