Review of evolution and current status of protein requirements and provision in acute illness and critical care.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Nutrition therapy, by enteral, parenteral, or both routes combined, is a key component of the management of critically ill, surgical, burns, and oncology patients. Established evidence indicates overfeeding (provision of excessive calories) results in increased risk of infection, morbidity, and mortality. This has led to the practice of "permissive underfeeding" of calories; however, this can often lead to inadequate provision of guideline-recommended protein intakes. Acutely ill patients requiring nutritional therapy have high protein requirements, and studies demonstrate that provision of adequate protein can result in reduced mortality and improvement in quality of life. However, a significant challenge to adequate protein delivery is the current lack of concentrated protein solutions. Patients often have fluid administration restrictions and existing protein solutions are frequently not sufficiently concentrated to deliver a patient's protein requirements. This has led to the development of new enteral and parenteral nutrition solutions incorporating higher levels of protein in smaller volumes. This review article summarizes current evidence supporting the role of higher protein intakes, especially during the early phases of nutrition therapy in acute illness, methods for assessing protein requirements, as well as, the currently available high-protein enteral and parenteral nutrition solutions. There is sufficient evidence (albeit limited from true randomized, controlled studies) to indicate that earlier provision of guideline-recommended protein intakes may be key to improving patient outcomes and that nutritional therapy that tailors caloric and protein intake to the patients' needs should be considered a desired standard of care.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • De Waele, E; Jakubowski, JR; Stocker, R; Wischmeyer, PE

Published Date

  • May 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 2958 - 2973

PubMed ID

  • 33451860

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-1983

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.clnu.2020.12.032


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England