Editorial: Introduction to the 2018 ESPEN guidelines on clinical nutrition in the intensive care unit: food for thought and valuable directives for clinicians!

Stephen A. McClave, Jayshil J. Patel, Peter J.M. Weijs

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Abstract

Introduction:The recently published 2018 ESPEN Guidelines on Clinical Nutrition in the Intensive Care Unit [1] represents a valuable revision of the 2006 Enteral Nutrition Guidelines [2] and the 2009 Parenteral Nutrition Guidelines [3] published earlier by this European group. The guidelines committee members have done an excellent job in putting thismanuscript together, providing directives that are clear, concise, brief, and most importantly, transparent. They included only studies published since 2000 for use in their meta-analyses, commenting that this time of transition heralded a new era in the literature involving higher quality randomized control trials (RCTs) and methodologic innovations such as trial registry. Not mentioned (but felt by many within the nutrition community) was the sense that this particular time was a tipping point, following the publication of Van den Berghe’s seminal paper on intensive insulin therapy [4]. Studies published in nutrition prior to this date were felt to reflect an older more antiquated style of management that was less effective. These authors utilized the persistent inflammation catabolism syndrome (PICS) system where four parameters (the patient, intervention, controls, and outcomes) are clearly described, which in turn direct the questions that the guideline committee members were to address. Quality of evidence was assessed by GRADE methodology, and a cut-off date of August 2017 for data entry from the literature was clearly identified. Not all of the recommendations were based on RCTs. The authors are to be commended in that they provided recommendations based on Level 4 low-quality evidence, in areas where RCTs were not available, clearly taking advantage of the group of experts on the committee to provide practical guidance for clinicians where there was a paucity of literature to support evidence-based practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
JournalCurrent opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

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