A guide to enteral nutrition in intensive care units: 10 expert tips for the daily practice.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The preferential use of the oral/enteral route in critically ill patients over gut rest is uniformly recommended and applied. This article provides practical guidance on enteral nutrition in compliance with recent American and European guidelines. Low-dose enteral nutrition can be safely started within 48 h after admission, even during treatment with small or moderate doses of vasopressor agents. A percutaneous access should be used when enteral nutrition is anticipated for ≥ 4 weeks. Energy delivery should not be calculated to match energy expenditure before day 4-7, and the use of energy-dense formulas can be restricted to cases of inability to tolerate full-volume isocaloric enteral nutrition or to patients who require fluid restriction. Low-dose protein (max 0.8 g/kg/day) can be provided during the early phase of critical illness, while a protein target of > 1.2 g/kg/day could be considered during the rehabilitation phase. The occurrence of refeeding syndrome should be assessed by daily measurement of plasma phosphate, and a phosphate drop of 30% should be managed by reduction of enteral feeding rate and high-dose thiamine. Vomiting and increased gastric residual volume may indicate gastric intolerance, while sudden abdominal pain, distension, gastrointestinal paralysis, or rising abdominal pressure may indicate lower gastrointestinal intolerance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Preiser, J-C; Arabi, YM; Berger, MM; Casaer, M; McClave, S; Montejo-González, JC; Peake, S; Reintam Blaser, A; Van den Berghe, G; van Zanten, A; Wernerman, J; Wischmeyer, P

Published Date

  • December 14, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 424 -

PubMed ID

  • 34906215

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8669237

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1466-609X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13054-021-03847-4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England