Guidelines for nutrition therapy in critical illness: Are not they all the same?

R. G. Martindale, M. S. McCarthy, S. A. McClave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In general, clinical guidelines identify, summarize, and evaluate the most current data concerning prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and cost for a specific patient population. This paper will briefly describe the authors' point of view regarding controversial aspects of adult critical care nutrition therapy guidelines published by preeminent professional societies in the United States (US), Canada, and Europe. The US guidelines were developed by subject matter experts to offer recommendations for specialized nutrition therapy that are supported by review and analysis of the pertinent current literature, other national and international guidelines, and by a blend of expert opinion and clinical practicality. A similar strategy was used to compile all three guideline publications resulting in many areas of common agreement, but disparate substantive recommendations do exist regarding: indirect calorimetry versus predictive equations, prokinetics in the intensive care unit (ICU), arginine use in the ICU, probiotic use in the ICU, and acceptable gastric residual volumes in the ICU patient. All of the guidelines are based on high quality studies in patients with critical illness, but like any other therapeutic modality for an ICU patient, nutritional interventions require a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates institutional best practices, individual patient considerations, and above all, clinical judgment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-467
Number of pages5
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Critical care
  • Guidelines as topic
  • Nutrition therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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