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Intensive Care Med. 1982;8(5):209-13.

Hormonal changes and their influence on metabolism and nutrition in the critically ill.


This is a brief review of the observed hormonal alterations following trauma and sepsis. The major changes noted in the metabolic status of the stressed patient have been characterized by deranged carbohydrate metabolism, altered metabolic rate as measured by oxygen consumption and increased ureagenesis. Each of these phenomena are regulated to a large extent by the specific hormonal profile of the patient. Failure of insulin and growth hormone production have been associated with glucose intolerance, excessive urinary nitrogen loss and a fatal outcome. Glucagon, cortisol and catecholamines exhibit sustained elevation and have been associated with increased metabolic rate and excessive ureagenesis. These changes are usually self limited following trauma but will persist if the patient enters a septic phase. The use of specific nutritional support, namely hypertonic glucose versus a balanced fat emulsion system in the face of sepsis is considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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