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Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Dec;52(6):1107-12.

Comparison of the metabolic effects of continuous postoperative enteral feeding and feeding at night only.

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University Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Liverpool Hospital, UK.


The effects of two different feeding patterns on oxygen consumption, nitrogen balance, blood biochemistry, and urinary catecholamine excretion were investigated over 5 d in patients after major head and neck surgery. Both groups of nine patients each were fed a regimen that provided 4.7 MJ on day 1 and 10 MJ on days 2-5 via a nasogastric tube by continuous infusion with an enteral feeding pump. One group was fed continuously for 24 h, the other was fed only at night, ie, from 1700 to 0900 the next morning. Oxygen consumption was significantly higher (P less than 0.01), nitrogen balance better (P less than 0.05), and urinary catecholamine excretion higher (P less than 0.05) in the 24-h-fed patients than in the night-fed patients. Postoperatively, feeding at night only is more energy efficient than is feeding continuously for 24 h, but is associated with poorer nitrogen balance. These differences may be mediated by sympathoadrenal mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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