Send to

Choose Destination
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2010 Mar-Apr;34(2):125-30. doi: 10.1177/0148607109344745. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Impact of not measuring residual gastric volume in mechanically ventilated patients receiving early enteral feeding: a prospective before-after study.

Author information

Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, District Hospital Center, La Roche-sur-Yon, France.



Monitoring of residual gastric volume (RGV) to prevent aspiration is standard practice in mechanically ventilated patients receiving early enteral nutrition (EN). No data are available to support a correlation between RGV and adverse event rates. We evaluated whether not measuring RGV affected EN delivery, vomiting, or risk of nosocomial pneumonia.


Two hundred and five eligible patients with nasogastric feeding within 48 hours after intubation were included in a 7-day prospective before-after study. Continuous 24-hour nutrition was started at 25 mL/h then increased by 25 mL/h every 6 hours, to 85 mL/h. In both groups, intolerance was treated with erythromycin (250 mg IV/6 h) and a delivery rate decrease to the previously well-tolerated rate. RGV monitoring was used during the first study period (n = 102), but not during the subsequent intervention period (n = 103). Intolerance was defined as RGV >250 mL/6 h or vomiting in the standard-practice group and as vomiting in the intervention group.


Groups were similar for baseline characteristics. Median daily volume of enteral feeding was higher in the intervention group (1489; interquartile range [IQR], 1349-1647) than in the controls (1381; IQR, 1151-1591; P = .002). Intolerance occurred in 47 (46.1%) controls and 27 (26.2%) intervention patients (P = .004). The vomiting rate did not differ between controls and intervention group patients (24.5% vs 26.2%, respectively; P = .34), and neither was a difference found for ventilator-associated pneumonia (19.6% vs 18.4%; P = .86).


Early EN without RGV monitoring in mechanically ventilated patients improves the delivery of enteral feeding and may not increase vomiting or ventilator-associated pneumonia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center