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Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jul-Aug;27(4):1213-8. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5794.

[Nutritional support response in critically ill patients; differences between medical and surgical patients].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Medicina Intensiva, Hospital San Jorge, SALUD, Huesca, España.



To assess the nutritional response of a group of critically ill patients, as well as the differences in the response to nutritional support between medical and surgical patients.


One-year long retrospective study including critically ill patients on artificial nutrition for 7 days. Throughout the first week, three nutritional biochemical controls were done that included albumin, prealbumin, transferrin, cholesterol, and electrolytes. Other data gathered were: nutritional risk index, age, gender, weight, height, APACHE, delay of onset of nutritional support, access route, predicted and real caloric intake, medical or surgical patient, hospital stay, duration of the central venous catheter, urinary tube, and/or mechanical ventilation, incidence and density of incidence of nosocomial infections.


Sixty-three patients were studied, 30 (47%) medical and 33 (53%) surgical/trauma patients, with a usage of EN higher among medical patients (16/30, 53% vs. 5/33, 15%), PN higher among surgical patients (25/33, 76%), and mixed nutrition similar in both groups (5 medical and 3 surgical patients) (p = 0.001). There were no differences between medical and surgical patients regarding: both predicted and real caloric and nitrogenous intake, APACHE, delay of onset of nutrition, phosphorus, magnesium or glucose levels, mortality and incidence of nosocomial infections. There were no differences either in hospital stay or use of mechanical ventilation, although these tended to be lower in surgical patients. The baseline biochemical parameters did not show differences between both groups, although they were worse among surgical patients. These patients presented during the study period steady albumin levels with improvement in the remaining parameters, whereas medical patients showed a decrease in albumin and transferrin levels, steady prealbumin levels, and slightly improvement in cholesterol levels.


We have observed higher usage of PN among surgical patients, which showed worse baseline nutritional biochemical parameters and responded better to nutritional support and having a trend towards shorter hospital stay and lower mechanical ventilation use than medical patients. We have not observed differences regarding the mortality or nosocomial infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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