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Type: Journal article
Title: Delayed gastric emptying in ventilated critically ill patients: Measurement by 13C-octanoic acid breath test
Author: Ritz, M.
Fraser, R.
Edwards, N.
Di Matteo, A.
Chapman, M.
Butler, R.
Cmielewski, P.
Tournadre, J.
Davidson, G.
Dent, J.
Citation: Critical Care Medicine, 2001; 29(9):1744-1749
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0090-3493
Statement of
Marc A. Ritz, Rob Fraser, Nick Edwards, Addolorata C. Di Matteo, Marianne Chapman, Ross Butler, Patricia Cmielewski, Jean-Pierre Tournadre, Geoff Davidson and John Dent
Abstract: <h4>Objective</h4>To measure gastric emptying in ventilated critically ill patients with a new noninvasive breath test.<h4>Design</h4>Single-center, open study.<h4>Setting</h4>Combined medical and surgical intensive care unit of a university hospital.<h4>Subjects</h4>Thirty unselected mechanically ventilated critically ill patients receiving gastric feeding and 22 healthy volunteers.<h4>Interventions</h4>None.<h4>Patients</h4>After 4 hrs without feeding, intragastric infusion of 100 mL of a liquid meal (Ensure) labeled with 100 microL 13C-octanoic acid. End-expiratory breath samples were collected into evacuated tubes from the respirator circuit every 5 mins for the first hour, then every 15 mins for 3 hrs. End-expiratory breath samples were also collected from volunteers studied supine after an overnight fast following an identical infusion via a nasogastric tube. Breath 13CO2 was measured with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer.<h4>Measurements and main results</h4>Performance of the breath test posed no difficulty or interference with patient care. The CO2 level was >1% in 1297/1300 breath samples, indicating satisfactory end-expiratory timing. Data are median and interquartile range. Gastric emptying was slower in patients compared with volunteers: gastric emptying coefficient 2.93 (2.17-3.39) vs. 3.58 (3.18-3.79), p <.001 and gastric half emptying time, derived from the area under the 13CO2 curve, 155 min (130-220) vs. 133 min (120-145), p <.008. Fourteen of the 30 patients had a gastric emptying coefficient <95% of all volunteers and 11 had a gastric half emptying time longer than 95% of all volunteers. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score (median 22, range 13-43) either at admission or on the day of the study did not correlate with gastric emptying coefficient.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Gastric emptying of a calorie-dense liquid meal is slow in 40% to 45% of unselected mechanically ventilated patients in a combined medical and surgical intensive care unit. The 13C-octanoic acid breath test is a novel and useful bedside technique to measure gastric emptying in these patients.
Keywords: motility, stomach, gastric emptying, gastric stasis, enteral feeding, intensive care unit, critically ill, mechanical ventilation, breath test, technique
Rights: © 2001 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
RMID: 0020011061
DOI: 10.1097/00003246-200109000-00015
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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