Nutrition and metabolic support for critically ill patients

Elizabeth Mahanna, Ettore Crimi, Peggy White, Deepinder S. Mann, Brenda G. Fahy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Acute critical illness increases the risk of malnutrition, are more obese, and have multiple comorbidities and frequent pre-existing nutritional deficits. There is a vast amount of research and literature being written on nutritional practices in the critically ill. We review and discuss herein the important nutrition literature over the past 12 months. Recent findings: Sarcopenia, defined as loss of skeletal mass and strength, is associated with increased mortality and morbidity, particularly in elderly patients with trauma. Ultrasound is emerging as a noninvasive and promising method of measuring muscularity. Measuring gastric residuals and postpyloric feeding may not decrease rates of pneumonia in critically ill patients. Trophic and full feeding lead to similar long-term functional and cognitive outcomes in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Summary: Nutrition and metabolic support of critically ill patients is a complex and diverse topic. Nutritional measurements, requirements, and modes and routes of delivery are currently being studied to determine the best way to treat these complicated patients. We present just a few of the current controversial topics in this fascinating arena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • critically ill patients
  • gastric residuals
  • nutrition
  • nutrition in acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • nutrition in the elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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