Parenteral nutrition and urban legends.

Link to article at PubMed

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Parenteral nutrition and urban legends.

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2008 Mar;24(2):210-4

Authors: Koretz RL

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To assess the recent literature regarding parenteral nutrition to identify publications that have purported to support various beliefs about the utility of parenteral nutrition, and then to critically evaluate the data presented in those (as well as prior) publications. RECENT FINDINGS: Artificial nutrition improves nutritional markers but not clinical outcomes, suggesting that malnutrition is not causatively associated with a poor outcome. There are no convincing data that parenteral nutrition is beneficial in severely malnourished surgical patients. Glutamine supplementation of parenteral nutrition solutions may reduce the infectious complication rate, but it is unknown if glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition is better than no parenteral nutrition. Most, but not all, systematic reviews have demonstrated that enteral nutrition produces fewer problems than parenteral nutrition; no data suggest that either modality is better than doing no artificial nutrition. Randomized trials have not uniformly been able to demonstrate that parenteral nutrition is efficacious in acute pancreatitis. There is some, but not convincing, data that a regimen of glutamine, growth hormone, and a specialized diet will reduce the need for parenteral nutrition in patients with short bowel syndrome. SUMMARY: It is important for clinicians to be able to critically evaluate the medical literature.

PMID: 18301273 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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