Indirect Calorimetry in Critical Illness: A New Standard of Care?

Current Opinion in Critical Care. 2021 Aug 1; 27(4):334-343. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000844.
De Waele, E., Jonckheer, J., & Wischmeyer, P. E.


Purpose of Review: Review recent literature on the role of indirect calorimetry in critical care nutrition management.

Recent Findings: Critical illness demands objective, targeted nutritional therapy to prevent adverse effects of underfeeding/over feeding. Thus, all recent societal guidelines recommend indirect calorimetry use to determine energy needs. Very recently, indirect calorimetry technology has finally evolved to allow for accurate, simple, and routine utilization in a wider range of ICU patients. Recent data continues to confirm poor correlation between measured and equation-predicted energy expenditure emphasizing need for indirect calorimetry to be standard of care. This may be particularly true in COVID-19, where significant progressive hypermetabolism and variability in energy expenditure has been shown. Metabolic physiology can change frequently during ICU stay in response to changes in clinical condition or care. Thus, repeated longitudinal indirect calorimetry measures are needed throughout ICU stay to optimize care, with initial data showing improved clinical outcomes when indirect calorimetry targets are utilized.

Summary: Personalized ICU care demands objective data to guide therapy. This includes use of indirect calorimetry to determine energy expenditure and guide ICU nutrition therapy. Long-awaited new innovations in indirect calorimetry technology should finally lead to indirect calorimetry to becoming a fundamental component of modern ICU standard of care and clinical research moving forward.

Information NutriBib

Reference work for leading, current and selected literature in the field of clinical nutrition

Publications on clinical nutrition have grown steadily in recent years and the scientific evidence has been improved by numerous observational as well as intervention studies. Various umbrella organisations, such as the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) or the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) publish guidelines on nutrition in various clinical situations at regular intervals. Thus, a large amount of literature is available for evidence-based nutritional medicine.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism