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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60

The prevalence and possible causes of enteral tube feeding intolerance in critically ill patients: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Clinical Research Development Unit, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4 Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alireza Sedaghat
Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_689_20

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Background: Enteral tube feeding intolerance (ETFI) is one of the most common complications of enteral nutrition (EN), which may lead to increased mortality and length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of ETFI and effects on feeding intolerance on nutrition and clinical outcomes in Iran. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019 at the three general ICUs of Imam Reza Hospital in Mashhad, Iran, during 7 days on 245 patients. The collected data included demographic characteristics, primary diagnosis, the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, duration of mechanical ventilation, and length of ICU stay. Feeding intolerance was assessed using daily questionnaires for 7 days. ETFI was determined as the interruption of EN based on gastrointestinal causes, including large gastric residuals, abdominal distension, vomiting, diarrhea, and subjective discomfort. Results: Overall, 245 critically ill patients (122 males and 123 females) were included in this study, with a mean age of 58.43 ± 19.2 years in three general ICUs. The highest prevalence rate of ETFI was 91.8%, which occurred on the 2nd day although the rate decreased in the following days. The minimum ETFI was observed on the last day (38.8%). Feeding intolerance was associated with the increased APACHE II scores (P = 0.04), SOFA scores (P < 0.001), and duration of mechanical ventilation (P < 0.001) compared with the tolerant patients. The most common causes of ETFI in the patients admitted to the ICU were gastric residual volume (GRV), large GRV, vomiting, and distension. Conclusion: ETFI was prevalent in almost two-third (66%) of the critically ill patients receiving EN based on the GRV. ETFI was associated with deteriorated nutritional status and clinical outcomes.

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