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Journal: Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition


Background: Nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), occurring in patients without celiac disease yet whose gastrointestinal symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet (GFD), is largely a self-reported diagnosis and would appear to be very common. The aims of this study were to characterize patients who believe they have NCGS. Materials and Methods: Advertising was directed toward adults who believed they had NCGS and were willing to participate in a clinical trial. Respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire about symptoms, diet, and celiac investigation. Results: Of 248 respondents, 147 completed the survey. Mean age was 43.5 years, and 130 were women. Seventy-two percent did not meet the description of NCGS due to inadequate exclusion of celiac disease (62%), uncontrolled symptoms despite gluten restriction (24%), and not following a GFD (27%), alone or in combination. The GFD was self-initiated in 44% of respondents; in other respondents it was prescribed by alternative health professionals (21%), dietitians (19%), and general practitioners (16%). No celiac investigations had been performed in 15% of respondents. Of 75 respondents who had duodenal biopsies, 29% had no or inadequate gluten intake at the time of endoscopy. Inadequate celiac investigation was common if the GFD was initiated by self (69%), alternative health professionals (70%), general practitioners (46%), or dietitians (43%). In 40 respondents who fulfilled the criteria for NCGS, their knowledge of and adherence to the GFD were excellent, and 65% identified other food intolerances. Conclusions: Just over 1 in 4 respondents self-reporting as NCGS fulfill criteria for its diagnosis. Initiation of a GFD without adequate exclusion of celiac disease is common. In 1 of 4 respondents, symptoms are poorly controlled despite gluten avoidance.

Concepts: Medicine, Nutrition, Wheat, Coeliac disease, Gluten, Gluten-free diet, Dermatitis herpetiformis, Wheat allergy


Hunger strikes are not infrequent occurrences in military and civilian prisons. Although practicing clinicians are familiar with the management of patients who have limited oral intake, managing hunger strikers is unfamiliar to most. The psychological, physiological, and social events that surround hunger strikes are very complex and need to be understood by those caring for hunger strike patients. To provide adequate medical care to hunger strike patients, clinicians most understand the physiological events that ensue after prolonged starvation. Careful vigilance for development of refeeding syndrome is of key importance. A multidisciplinary approach to hunger strikes is of utmost importance, and involvement of a multidisciplinary clinical team as well as prison officials is essential.

Concepts: Health care, Avicenna, Fasting, Starvation, Refeeding syndrome, Hunger strike, 1981 Irish hunger strike, Bobby Sands


Pellagra is a rare condition that has been known for many years to be related to niacin deficiency. Clinically known as the 4 “D” symptoms for dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and even death, skin changes remain one of the most important features of this pathology, leading frequently to the diagnosis. Pellagra is mostly seen in poor populations with a deficient diet; still, it is sporadically observed in developed countries, usually in association with digestive disorders. We report a new case of pellagra in a 29-year-old woman in whom the diagnosis of megaduodenum was made. Megaduodenum is a rare condition that can be idiopathic or secondary to visceral myopathy or neuropathy. Parenteral supplementation with niacin has resulted in a quick response of dermatological and psychiatric symptoms. To our knowledge, no case of pellagra due to megaduodenum has been reported in literature.

Concepts: Scientific method, Niacin, Dementia, Mental disorder, Knowledge, Pellagra, Psychiatry, Nixtamalization


A nutrition support algorithm is an operational version of a guideline that is adapted to local requirements and easy to apply in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of implementing a nutrition support algorithm on nutrition care outcomes in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Switzerland without a designated dietitian.

Concepts: Intensive care medicine, Pharmaceutical industry, Implementation, Design


Recent articles have addressed the characteristics associated with adult malnutrition as published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy) and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). This article describes a successful interdisciplinary program developed by the Department of Food and Nutrition at New York-Presbyterian Hospital to maintain and monitor clinical documentation, ensure accurate International Classification of Diseases 9th Edition (ICD-9) coding, and identify subsequent incremental revenue resulting from the early identification, documentation, and treatment of malnutrition in an adult inpatient population. The first step in the process requires registered dietitians to identify patients with malnutrition; then clear and specifically worded diagnostic statements that include the type and severity of malnutrition are documented in the medical record by the physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. This protocol allows the Heath Information Management/Coding department to accurately assign ICD-9 codes associated with protein-energy malnutrition. Once clinical coding is complete, a final diagnosis related group (DRG) is generated to ensure appropriate hospital reimbursement. Successful interdisciplinary programs such as this can drive optimal care and ensure appropriate reimbursement.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Nutrition, Malnutrition, Healthcare occupations, Dietitian, American Dietetic Association, Nutritionist


Background and Objective: Enteral feeding is vital in the critical care setting; however, the optimal route of enteral feeding (postpyloric vs gastric feeding) remains debated. We aimed to systematically review the current evidence to see whether postpyloric feeding could provide additional benefits to intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Method: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy and safety of postpyloric feeding vs gastric feeding were included in our systematic review. Odds ratio (OR) was used for binary outcome data and weighted mean difference (WMD) was used for continuous outcome data. Summary effects were pooled using a fixed or random effects model as appropriate. Results: Seventeen RCTs were included in our meta-analysis. Postpyloric tube feeding could deliver higher proportions of estimated energy requirement (WMD, 12%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5%-18%) and reduce the gastric residual volume (GRV) (WMD, -169.1 mL; 95% CI, -291.995 to -46.196 mL). However, the meta-analysis failed to demonstrate any benefits to critically ill patients with postpyloric tube feeding in terms of mortality (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.77-1.44), new-onset pneumonia (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.53-1.13), and aspiration (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.64-2.25). There was no significant publication bias as represented by an Egger’s bias coefficient of 0.21 (95% CI, -1.01 to 1.43; P = .7). Conclusion: As compared with gastric feeding, postpyloric feeding is able to deliver higher proportions of the estimated energy requirement and can help reduce the GRV.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Intensive care medicine, Feeding tube, Meta-analysis, Random effects model


Indirect calorimetry (IC) is the gold standard for measuring resting energy expenditure (REE) in the critically ill patient. The use of predictive equations to develop nutrition regimens can be problematic in the critical care setting, because the effects that disease, injury, and stress have on REE are often varied and unpredictable. IC testing ensures that the specific conditions of the critically ill patient are taken into account, thereby preventing potential complications from over- and underfeeding. The clinical indications for and appropriate applications of IC testing are discussed. In addition, 3 case studies are presented that highlight the application of IC. The clinician can face numerous obstacles in implementing IC testing, including lack of equipment, staff shortages, and lack of knowledge regarding application and interpretation of the IC study. Recommendations for addressing these challenges are discussed. In addition, guidelines on ordering and interpreting the IC study are provided. Best practices for predictive equations in critically and acutely ill patients are also presented, since IC testing is not feasible in certain situations. Given the importance of predicting REE in the critically ill patient, it is paramount that more healthcare professionals incorporate IC testing into practice. A multidisciplinary approach is helpful in developing a well-established clinical practice. Nutrition support clinicians can promote optimal nutrition management by being well-informed and able to provide evidence-based recommendations for the use of IC.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Scientific method, Patient, Hospital, Illness, Best practice, Calorimetry


Despite tremendous advances in critical care, multiple-organ failure continues to be a significant problem. However, in recent years, far fewer patients with multiple-organ failure die early, but many experience ongoing immune dysregulation and are developing persistent inflammation, immunosuppression, and catabolism syndrome (PICS). Most PICS patients are discharged to nonhome destinations, fail to rehabilitate, and succumb to indolent death. From a nutrition perspective, patients with PICS experience persistent inflammation-induced cachexia despite evidenced-based recommended intensive care unit nutrition support. Recent basic and translational research indicates that prolonged expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells plays a central role in the pathogenesis of PICS. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells express arginase 1, which depletes arginine, causing immunosuppression and impaired wound healing. This is the rationale for arginine supplementation in PICS. Other nutrition support recommendations for PICS are based on inferences made from other patient populations who experience similar persistent inflammation-induced cachexia. These include patients with established cancers, major burns, and sarcopenia. These patients experience anabolic resistance, but studies show that this can be overcome by providing higher levels of protein and certain specific amino acids. Nutrition support guidelines recommend provision of >1.5 g/kg/d of protein and indicate that higher levels may be needed. Protein composition is also important. There is good evidence that leucine can promote anabolism in patients with cancer and sarcopenia. Finally, anabolic interventions-including intensive insulin, oxandrolone, propranolol, and resistance exercise-have proven to be effective in patients with major burns and are likely relevant in combating PICS cachexia.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Amino acid, Metabolism, Essential amino acid, Anabolism, Ornithine, Catabolism


The use of nutrition support outside of institutional settings has contributed to maintaining the health, well-being, and nutrition status of many medically complex children. As these children grow and enter educational settings, there is a need for awareness of the care that these children require for nutrition support therapy. This document is designed to raise awareness to these needs, provide best practice educational resources for those involved in the supervision or provision of nutrition support to children in an educational environment, and promote safe and effective care. Care of children requiring nutrition support is an ongoing and shared partnership among the educational team, medical team, homecare team, and parents/caregivers. Care is individualized to the specific child and may include provision of nutrition support therapy while in the school setting, maintenance of a nutrition access device, and monitoring to safely prevent or act on signs of potential complications. Suggested roles and responsibilities of those involved with nutrition support care are discussed; however, all interventions and routine care must be in accordance with physician’s orders, school nurse privileges and competencies, and state and local regulations.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Environment, Cognitive science, Child, Nursing, Setting, Awareness


Malnutrition is prevalent in hospitalized patients. To support muscle maintenance in older and chronically ill patients, a protein intake of 1.2-1.5 g/kg/d has been recommended during hospitalization. We assessed daily protein intake levels and distribution in older patients at risk for malnutrition during hospitalization.