The relationship between a pentagastrin-stimulated gastric luminal acid production test (Gastrotest) and enteral feeding-related gastrointestinal complications in critically ill patients.
Gastrointestinal feeding-related complications (GICs) are common in critically ill patients. Unfortunately, patients at risk for GICs cannot be easily identified. Therefore, we performed a prospective study of 20 critically ill patients to determine the association between a pentagastrin-stimulated gastric acid production test and GICs. Before feeding, the change in the pH of gastric juice was measured in response to a subcutaneous injection of pentagastrin (Gastrotest). We recorded GICs and the feeding volume ratio during each patient's intensive care unit (ICU) stay. Nineteen patients' data were analyzed and 9 patients (47%) developed > or =1 GIC, including large gastric residuals, 26%; abdominal distension, 26%; and vomiting, 21%. Patients with GICs had a longer length of ICU stay (mean 21.3, range 5-45 versus 10.1, range 3-32; P < 0.05). The 9 patients (47%) who were Gastrotest responders before starting enteral feeding exhibited a significantly larger volume ratio (P = 0.01) and fewer GICs (1 [11%] versus 8 [80%]; P < 0.05). Abdominal distension was seen in only nonresponders. The positive and negative predictive values for this test's ability to predict GICs were 80% and 88.9%, respectively. Responding to a pentagastrin-stimulated gastric luminal acid production test is associated with the administration of larger volumes of enteral feed and fewer GICs.
Hamilton, MA; Chapman, MV; Mutch, M; Bennett-Guerrero, E; Mythen, MG
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