Nutrition and anabolic agents in burned patients.Burns 2003; 29(6):592-5B
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Much of the morbidity and mortality of severely burned patients is connected with hypermetabolism and catabolism with its accompanying impairment of wound healing and increased infection risks. In order to prevent the erosion of body mass, nutritional support and other strategies to prevent catabolism have become a major focus in the care of severely burned patients.
Major themes discussed in recent literature are dealing with enteral versus parenteral nutrition and gastric versus duodenal feeding. The possibility of overfeeding is another important aspect of high calorie nutrition as commonly used in burned patients. Specific formulas for enteral nutrition for specific metabolic abnormalities are under evaluation as well as the role of anabolic and anticatabolic agents.
From the clinical literature, total enteral nutrition starting as early as possible without any supplemental parenteral nutrition is the preferred feeding method for burned patients. Using a duodenal approach, especially in the early postburn phase, seems to be superior to gastric feeding. Administration of high calorie total enteral nutrition in any later septic phase should be critically reviewed due to possible impairment of splanchnic oxygen balance. Therefore, measurement of CO(2)-gap should be considered as a monitoring method during small bowel nutrition. The impact on the course of disease of supplements such as arginine, glutamine and vitamins as well as the impact of the use of anabolic and anticatabolic agents is not yet evident. Furthermore, the effect of insulin administration and low blood sugar regimes on wound healing and outcome in burned patients should be evaluated in future studies.