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Nutr Clin Pract. 2018 Jun;33(3):359-369. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10096.

Supplemental Parenteral Nutrition: Review of the Literature and Current Nutrition Guidelines.

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Senior Manager, Medical Affairs, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Deerfield, Illinois, USA.
Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery, Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Director, Perioperative Research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Director, Nutrition and TPN Service, Duke University Medical Center and Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Parenteral nutrition has significantly and positively affected the clinical care of patients for >50 years. The 2016 Society of Critical Care Medicine/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition guidelines for the provision of nutrition support to adult patients emphasize the role of this therapy in attenuating the stress response and impacting the immune response, among other benefits. Malnutrition in hospitalized patients remains a major problem; it is underdiagnosed and often undertreated. Malnourished patients are more likely to suffer from infections, pneumonia, and pressure ulcers, among other serious concerns. Enteral nutrition is considered first-line therapy in many of these patients; however, data suggest that many patients receive far less than prescribed amounts for a variety of reasons. Supplemental parenteral nutrition (SPN), used to augment nutrition support of appropriate adult patients and better meet nutrition goals, is not often used in the United States. The purposes of this review are to highlight selected studies in the literature that support and question the use and value of SPN in adult patients; propose consideration of 2 definitions for SPN, "early" and "traditional"; and encourage clinicians to consider SPN for appropriate patients.


clinical protocols; critical care; enteral nutrition; nutritional support; parenteral nutrition


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