Nutritional and Bioenergetic Considerations in Critically Ill Patients with Acute Neurological Injury

Peter A. Abdelmalik, Susan Dempsey, Wendy Ziai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The brain, due to intensive cellular processes and maintenance of electrochemical gradients, is heavily dependent on a constant supply of energy. Brain injury, and critical illness in general, induces a state of increased metabolism and catabolism, which has been proven to lead to poor outcomes. Of all the biochemical interventions undertaken in the ICU, providing nutritional support is perhaps one of the most undervalued, but potentially among the safest, and most effective interventions. Adequate provisions of calories and protein have been shown to improve patient outcomes, and guidelines for the nutritional support of the critically ill patient are reviewed. However, there are no such specific guidelines for the critically ill patient with neurological injury. Patients with primary or secondary neurological disorders are frequently undernourished, while data suggest this population would benefit from early and adequate nutritional support, although comprehensive clinical evidence is lacking. We review the joint recommendations from the Society for Critical Care Medicine and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, as they pertain to neurocritical care, and assess the recommendations for addressing nutrition in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Critical care
  • Enteral feeding
  • ICU
  • Neurocritical care
  • Nutrition
  • Tube feeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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