Incidence and Effects of Feeding Intolerance in Trauma Patients

Farrukh R. Virani, Travis Peery, Orlyn Rivas, Jeffrey Tomasek, Ravin Huerta, Charles E. Wade, Jenny Lee, John B. Holcomb, Karen Uray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Although feeding intolerance is a common complication in trauma patients, the incidence, development, and effects are poorly understood. Methods: We performed a retrospective study in which trauma patients were classified as having feeding intolerance based on time to reach feeding goal. Subsequently, we sorted patients by gastric residual volumes (GRVs) or symptoms of slowed gastrointestinal motility. Results: One-third of trauma patients experienced delayed time to reach feeding goal after diet initiation. Delayed feeding was associated with prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stays, increased readmission rates, and increased incidence of sepsis. Patients with elevated GRV (>500 mL) had significantly prolonged ICU and hospital stays and increase incidence of sepsis. Patients with >2 symptoms of slowed gastrointestinal motility had prolonged ICU and hospital stays, delayed time to reach feeding goals, significantly increased readmission rates, increased incidence of infectious and thromboembolic complications and sepsis, decreased serum prealbumin levels, and increased CRP levels. Conclusion: Decreased gastrointestinal motility in trauma patients is associated with worse outcomes and increased systemic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-749
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • enteral nutrition
  • feeding intolerance
  • inflammation
  • prokinetics
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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