Assessment of Energy and Protein Requirements in Relation to Nitrogen Kinetics, Nutrition, and Clinical Outcomes in Infants Receiving Early Enteral Nutrition Following Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Jian Zhang, Yan-Qin Cui, Yi Luo, Xin-Xin Chen, Jia Li
JPEN. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2020 June 4

BACKGROUND: Nutrition therapies in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is crucial, but energy and protein requirements remain undefined. We assessed energy and protein requirements, with nitrogen kinetics and clinical outcomes, in infants with complex CHD following CPB.

METHODS: Infants were randomized to control (1.3 g/kg/d), moderate protein (MP, 2.5 g/kg/d), or high protein (HP, 4 g/kg/d) groups. Resting energy expenditure (REE) was measured 6 hours post-CPB and then at 24-hour intervals, using indirect calorimetry to formulate energy intakes. Enteral formula feeding was initiated 6 hours post-CPB and continued for 5 days. Nitrogen balance (NB); urea nitrogen waste and nitrogen retention; serum prealbumin level; and hepatic, renal, and cardiac function were measured daily. Mid-upper arm circumference and triceps skinfold were measured preoperatively and 5 days after CPB. Adverse outcomes (bacterial infection, reintubation, and cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) stay > 8 days) were recorded.

RESULTS: REE was not different across the 3 groups (P = .37). It declined from 62 ± 6 to 57 ± 7 kcal/kg/d over 5 days post-CPB (P = .02). NB and nitrogen retention became positive by day 3 in the HP group but remained negative in the other 2 groups (P = .045-.003), despite higher urea nitrogen waste in the HP group (P < .0001). The HP group had a greater increase in serum prealbumin level and anthropometric measures (P = .009-.03). Other measures were not significantly different across the 3 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In infants with complex CHD in the first 5 days post-CPB, protein and energy intakes of ≈4 g/kg/d and 60 kcal/kg/d, respectively, led to improved nutrition outcomes without increased adverse events.

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