BACKGROUND - Although enteral nutrition (EN) is provided to most mechanically ventilated patients, the effect of specific feeding strategies on circulating markers of coagulation and inflammation is unknown.
METHODS - Markers of inflammation (tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, interleukin [IL]-1β, interferon [IFN]-γ, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12) and coagulation (tissue factor [TF], plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) were measured at baseline (n = 185) and 6 days (n = 103) in mechanically ventilated intensive care unit patients enrolled in a randomized controlled study of trophic vs full-energy feeds to test the hypothesis that trophic enteral feeds would be associated with decreases in markers of inflammation and coagulation compared to full-energy feeds.
RESULTS - There were no differences in any of the biomarkers measured at day 6 between patients who were randomized to receive trophic feeds compared to full-energy feeds. However, TF levels decreased modestly in patients from baseline to day 6 in the trophic feeding group (343.3 vs 247.8 pg/mL, P = .061) but increased slightly in the full-calorie group (314.3 vs 331.8 pg/mL). Lower levels of TF at day 6 were associated with a lower mortality, and patients who died had increasing TF levels between days 0 and 6 (median increase of 39.7) compared to decreasing TF levels in patients who lived (median decrease of 95.0, P = .033).
CONCLUSIONS - EN strategy in critically ill patients with acute respiratory failure does not significantly modify inflammation and coagulation by day 6, but trophic feeds may have some modest effects in attenuating inflammation and coagulation.