Disease-specific nutrition therapy: One size does not fit all

D. D. Yeh, G. C. Velmahos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: The delivery of adequate nutrition is an integral part of the care of the critically ill surgical patient, and the provision of nutrition may have a greater impact on outcome than many other therapies commonly employed in the treatment of certain disease states. Methods: A review of the existing literature was performed to summarize the evidence for utilizing disease-specific nutrition in critically ill surgical patients. Results: Enteral nutrition, unless specifically contraindicated, is always preferable to parenteral nutrition. Methodological heterogeneity and conflicting results plague research in immunonutrition, and routine use is not currently recommended in critically ill patients. Conclusion: There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend the routine initial use of most disease-specific formulas, as most patients with the disease in question will tolerate standard enteral formulas. However, the clinician should closely monitor for signs of intolerance and utilize disease-specific formulas when appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-233
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatic failure
  • Immunonutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Pulmonary failure
  • Renal failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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