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Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):101-7.

Nutritional status of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients: comparison of different types of nutritional support.

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School of Nutrition and Institute of Nutritional, Chung-Shan Medical & Dental College, Taichung, Taiwan.


Malnutrition is a common problem in hospitalized patients. Early assessment of nutritional status may help in identifying patients for whom nutritional interventions are needed. The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the nutritional status of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients who were receiving nutritional support. Forty-nine patients were divided into either enteral nutrition, total parenteral nutrition or combined (enteral plus total parenteral nutrition) groups. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements, and medical status (APACHE II score) were assessed at the 1st day and 14th day of admission in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Taichung Veteran General Hospital. The length of ventilator dependency was significantly positively correlated with calorie and carbohydrate intake in the pooled group. Patients receiving enteral and combined nutrition showed significantly lower anthropometric measurements at the 14th day after admission. Patients in all groups had abnormal mean biochemical values at the 1st day of admission. Subjects in the combined group showed a significant increase in prealbumin and the Maastricht Index levels after 14 days. Patients in all three groups were malnourished when admitted to the ICU. Patients showed a slightly improvement of nutritional status after receiving nutritional support for 14 days.

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