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Intensive Care Med. 2011 Apr;37(4):601-9. doi: 10.1007/s00134-011-2146-z. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

The tight calorie control study (TICACOS): a prospective, randomized, controlled pilot study of nutritional support in critically ill patients.

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Department of General Intensive Care, Rabin Medical Center, Campus Beilinson, 49100, Petah Tikva, Israel.



To determine whether nutritional support guided by repeated measurements of resting energy requirements improves the outcome of critically ill patients.


This was a prospective, randomized, single-center, pilot clinical trial conducted in an adult general intensive care (ICU) unit. The study population comprised mechanically ventilated patients (n = 130) expected to stay in ICU more than 3 days. Patients were randomized to receive enteral nutrition (EN) with an energy target determined either (1) by repeated indirect calorimetry measurements (study group, n = 56), or (2) according to 25 kcal/kg/day (control group, n = 56). EN was supplemented with parenteral nutrition when required.


The primary outcome was hospital mortality. Measured pre-study resting energy expenditure (REE) was similar in both groups (1,976 ± 468 vs. 1,838 ± 468 kcal, p = 0.6). Patients in the study group had a higher mean energy (2,086 ± 460 vs. 1,480 ± 356 kcal/day, p = 0.01) and protein intake (76 ± 16 vs. 53 ± 16 g/day, p = 0.01). There was a trend towards an improved hospital mortality in the intention to treat group (21/65 patients, 32.3% vs. 31/65 patients, 47.7%, p = 0.058) whereas length of ventilation (16.1 ± 14.7 vs. 10.5 ± 8.3 days, p = 0.03) and ICU stay (17.2 ± 14.6 vs. 11.7 ± 8.4, p = 0.04) were increased.


In this single-center pilot study a bundle comprising actively supervised nutritional intervention and providing near target energy requirements based on repeated energy measurements was achievable in a general ICU and may be associated with lower hospital mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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