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Safety of Enteral Feedings in Critically Ill Children Receiving Vasoactive Agents. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 2016 Feb;40(2):236-41



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84954449664   33 Citations


BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective study was to evaluate the safety of enteral feeding in children receiving vasoactive agents (VAs).

METHODS: Patients aged 1 month to 18 years with a pediatric intensive care unit stay for a?Y96 hours during 2007 and 2008 who received any VA (epinephrine, norepinephrine, vasopressin, milrinone, dopamine, and dobutamine) were included and categorized into fed and nonfed groups. Their demographics, clinical characteristics, type and dose of VA, and presence of gastrointestinal (GI) outcomes were obtained. GI outcomes were compared between the groups by the I?(2) test, Mann-Whitney test, and logistic regression.

RESULTS: In total, 339 patients were included. Of these, 55% were in the fed group and 45% in the nonfed group. Patients in the fed group were younger (median age, 1.05 vs 2.75 years, respectively; P < .001) and tended to have a lower Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM2) risk of mortality (ROM) than those in the nonfed group (median, 3.33% vs 3.52%, respectively; P = .106). Mortality was lower in the fed group than the nonfed group (6.9% vs 15.9%, respectively; odds ratio [OR], 0.39; 0.18-0.84; P < .01, 95% CI), while GI outcomes did not differ between the groups. The vasoactive-inotropic score (VIS) did not differ between the groups except on day 1 (P = .017). The ROM did not differ between the groups after adjusting for age, PIM2 ROM, and VIS on day 1 (OR, 0.58; 0.26-1.28; P = .18, 95% CI).

CONCLUSIONS: Enteral feeding in patients receiving VAs is associated with no difference in GI outcomes and a tendency towards lower mortality. Prospective studies are required to confirm the safety of enteral feedings in patients receiving VAs.

Author List

Panchal AK, Manzi J, Connolly S, Christensen M, Wakeham M, Goday PS, Mikhailov TA


Theresa A. Mikhailov MD, PhD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Martin K. Wakeham MD Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cardiovascular Agents
Child, Preschool
Critical Illness
Enteral Nutrition
Gastrointestinal Tract
Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
Length of Stay
Logistic Models
Retrospective Studies