Enteral versus Parenteral Nutritional Support following Laparotomy for Trauma: A Randomized Prospective Trial

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Although enteral nutrition is considered more 'physiologic' than parenteral nutrition, there is greater published experience with parenteral nutrition in trauma patients. To compare the efficacy of these two techniques, we prospectively randomized multiple trauma patients during their admission laparotomy to receive either central venous parenteral nutritional (TPN: n=23) or enteral nutrition by jejunostomy (Jej: n=23). Nutritional support began on the first postoperative day; the study period continued a maximum of 14 days.

There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, sex, injury severity, estimated caloric needs (3,322 TPN; 3,114 Jej), hours to achieve full prescription (77 PTN; 79 Jej), or the number of days on nutritional support (22 TPN; 25 Jej). Average daily caloric intakes, nitrogen balance results, and complication rates were also comparable.

These results suggest that early postoperative jejunostomy feeding is a safe and efficacious choice for multiple trauma patients undergoing laparotomy.

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