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Enteral nutrition and cardiovascular failure: from myths to clinical practice.
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Cardiovascular failure and low flow states may arise in very different conditions from both cardiac and noncardiac causes. Systemic hemodynamic failure inevitably alters splanchnic blood flow but in an unpredictable way. Prolonged low splanchnic blood flow causes intestinal ischemia, increased mucosal permeability, endotoxemia, and distant organ failure. Mortality associated with intestinal ischemia is high. Why would enteral nutrition (EN) be desirable in these complex patients when parenteral nutrition could easily cover energy and substrate requirements? Metabolic, immune, and practical reasons justify the use of EN. In addition, continuous enteral feeding minimizes systemic and myocardial oxygen consumption in patients with congestive heart failure. Further, early feeding in critically ill mechanically ventilated patients has been shown to reduce mortality, particularly in the sickest patients. In a series of cardiac surgery patients with compromised hemodynamics, absorption has been maintained, and 1000-1200 kcal/d could be delivered by enteral feeding. Therefore, early EN in stabilized patients should be attempted, and can be carried out safely under close clinical monitoring, looking for signs of incipient intestinal ischemia. Energy delivery and balance should be monitored, and combined feeding considered when enteral feeds cannot be advanced to target within 4-6 days.
Critically-Ill Patients, Splanchnic Blood-Flow, Intensive-Care-Unit, Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Cardiac-Surgery, Heart-Failure, Parenteral-Nutrition, Energy-Balance, Score, Patient
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