Special Issue "Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Dimitrios T. Karayiannis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Nutrition, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, Ypsilantou 45-47, 10676 Athens, Greece
Interests: diet; nutrition; reproduction; clinical nutrition; obesity; enteral nutrition; critical care nutrition
Dr. Zafeiria Mastora
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
First Department of Critical Care Medicine & Pulmonary Services, GP Livanos and M Simou Laboratories, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece
Interests: metabolism; nutrition; critical care nutrition; pulmonary disease; COVID-19

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, medical nutrition therapy of critically ill patients is an indispensable element of holistic intensive care therapy but remains also a challenge. Proper planning of nutrition support, taking into account the appropriate route of administration, as well as estimating energy and nutritional needs can significantly improve the patient’s prognosis and outcomes, especially during COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed a huge healthcare, social and economic impact worldwide during the past few months. Most of the published guidelines from various international organizations state that there is an urgent need regarding data on optimal nutritional approach for critically ill patients.

Therefore, we would like to invite authors to contribute original research articles as well as review articles focused on malnutrition risk, diagnosis and medical nutrition treatment in critically ill and COVID-19 patient and their impact on clinical outcomes in everyday clinical setting.

Dr. Dimitrios T. Karayiannis
Dr. Zafeiria Mastora
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • critical care nutrition
  • nutrition support
  • COVID-19
  • intensive care unit
  • enteral nutrition
  • energy expenditure
  • immunonutrition
  • parenteral nutrition

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Long-Term Evolution of Malnutrition and Loss of Muscle Strength after COVID-19: A Major and Neglected Component of Long COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3964; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113964 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Post-acute consequences of COVID-19, also termed long COVID, include signs and symptoms persisting for more than 12 weeks with prolonged multisystem involvement; most often, however, malnutrition is ignored. Method: The objective was to analyze persistent symptoms, nutritional status, the evolution of muscle strength [...] Read more.
Post-acute consequences of COVID-19, also termed long COVID, include signs and symptoms persisting for more than 12 weeks with prolonged multisystem involvement; most often, however, malnutrition is ignored. Method: The objective was to analyze persistent symptoms, nutritional status, the evolution of muscle strength and performance status (PS) at 6 months post-discharge in a cohort of COVID-19 survivors. Results: Of 549 consecutive patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between 1 March and 29 April 2020, 23.7% died and 288 patients were at home at D30 post-discharge. At this date, 136 of them (47.2%) presented persistent malnutrition, a significant decrease in muscle strength or a PS ≥ 2. These patients received dietary counseling, nutritional supplementation, adapted physical activity guidance or physiotherapy assistance, or were admitted to post-care facilities. At 6 months post-discharge, 91.0% of the 136 patients (n = 119) were evaluated and 36.0% had persistent malnutrition, 14.3% complained of a significant decrease in muscle strength and 14.9% had a performance status > 2. Obesity was more frequent in patients with impairment than in those without (52.8% vs. 31.0%; p = 0.0071), with these patients being admitted more frequently to ICUs (50.9% vs. 31.3%; p = 0.010). Among those with persistent symptoms, 10% had psychiatric co-morbidities (mood disorders, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress syndrome), 7.6% had prolonged pneumological symptoms and 4.2% had neurological symptoms. Conclusions: Obese subjects as well as patients who have stayed in intensive care have a higher risk of functional loss or undernutrition 6 months after a severe COVID infection. Malnutrition and loss of muscle strength should be considered in the clinical assessment of these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Oropharyngeal Dysphagia and Impaired Motility of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract—Is There a Clinical Link in Neurocritical Care?
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3879; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113879 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Patients in the neurological ICU are at risk of suffering from disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) can be caused by the underlying neurological disease and/or ICU treatment itself. The latter was also identified as a risk factor for gastrointestinal [...] Read more.
Patients in the neurological ICU are at risk of suffering from disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) can be caused by the underlying neurological disease and/or ICU treatment itself. The latter was also identified as a risk factor for gastrointestinal dysmotility. However, its association with OD and the impact of the neurological condition is unclear. Here, we investigated a possible link between OD and gastric residual volume (GRV) in patients in the neurological ICU. In this retrospective single-center study, patients with an episode of mechanical ventilation (MV) admitted to the neurological ICU due to an acute neurological disease or acute deterioration of a chronic neurological condition from 2011–2017 were included. The patients were submitted to an endoscopic swallowing evaluation within 72 h of the completion of MV. Their GRV was assessed daily. Patients with ≥1 d of GRV ≥500 mL were compared to all the other patients. Regression analysis was performed to identify the predictors of GRV ≥500 mL/d. With respect to GRV, the groups were compared depending on their FEES scores (0–3). A total of 976 patients were included in this study. A total of 35% demonstrated a GRV of ≥500 mL/d at least once. The significant predictors of relevant GRV were age, male gender, infratentorial or hemorrhagic stroke, prolonged MV and poor swallowing function. The patients with the poorest swallowing function presented a GRV of ≥500 mL/d significantly more often than the patients who scored the best. Conclusions: Our findings indicate an association between dysphagia severity and delayed gastric emptying in critically ill neurologic patients. This may partly be due to lesions in the swallowing and gastric network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
The Association between Nutritional Status and In-Hospital Mortality of COVID-19 in Critically-Ill Patients in the ICU
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3302; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103302 - 22 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The impact of poor nutritional status on increased mortality and prolonged ICU (intensive care unit) stay in critically ill patients is well-documented. This study aims to assess how [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The impact of poor nutritional status on increased mortality and prolonged ICU (intensive care unit) stay in critically ill patients is well-documented. This study aims to assess how nutritional status and BMI (body mass index) affected in-hospital mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients Methods: We conducted a retrospective study and analysed medical records of 286 COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of the University Clinical Hospital in Wroclaw (Poland). Results: A total of 286 patients were analysed. In the sample group, 8% of patients who died had a BMI within the normal range, 46% were overweight, and 46% were obese. There was a statistically significantly higher death rate in men (73%) and those with BMIs between 25.0–29.9 (p = 0.011). Nonsurvivors had a statistically significantly higher HF (Heart Failure) rate (p = 0.037) and HT (hypertension) rate (p < 0.001). Furthermore, nonsurvivors were statistically significantly older (p < 0.001). The risk of death was higher in overweight patients (HR = 2.13; p = 0.038). Mortality was influenced by higher scores in parameters such as age (HR = 1.03; p = 0.001), NRS2002 (nutritional risk score, HR = 1.18; p = 0.019), PCT (procalcitonin, HR = 1.10; p < 0.001) and potassium level (HR = 1.40; p = 0.023). Conclusions: Being overweight in critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation increases their risk of death significantly. Additional factors indicating a higher risk of death include the patient’s age, high PCT, potassium levels, and NRS ≥ 3 measured at the time of admission to the ICU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Energy Achievement Rate Is an Independent Factor Associated with Intensive Care Unit Mortality in High-Nutritional-Risk Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Requiring Prolonged Prone Positioning Therapy
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3176; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093176 - 12 Sep 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Early enteral nutrition (EN) and a nutrition target >60% are recommended for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), even for those with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Prolonged prone positioning (PP) therapy (>48 h) is the rescue therapy of ARDS, but it [...] Read more.
Early enteral nutrition (EN) and a nutrition target >60% are recommended for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), even for those with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Prolonged prone positioning (PP) therapy (>48 h) is the rescue therapy of ARDS, but it may worsen the feeding status because it requires the heavy sedation and total paralysis of patients. Our previous studies demonstrated that energy achievement rate (EAR) >65% was a good prognostic factor in ICU. However, its impact on the mortality of patients with ARDS requiring prolonged PP therapy remains unclear. We retrospectively analyzed 79 patients with high nutritional risk (modified nutrition risk in the critically ill; mNUTRIC score ≥5); and identified factors associated with ICU mortality by using a Cox regression model. Through univariate analysis, mNUTRIC score, comorbid with malignancy, actual energy intake, and EAR (%) were associated with ICU mortality. By multivariate analysis, EAR (%) was a strong predictive factor of ICU mortality (HR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.07–0.56). EAR >65% was associated with lower 14-day, 28-day, and ICU mortality after adjustment for confounding factors. We suggest early EN and increase EAR >65% may benefit patients with ARDS who required prolonged PP therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Stress Hyperglycemia and Osteocalcin in COVID-19 Critically Ill Patients on Artificial Nutrition
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3010; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093010 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 903
Abstract
We aimed to study the possible association of stress hyperglycemia in COVID-19 critically ill patients with prognosis, artificial nutrition, circulating osteocalcin, and other serum markers of inflammation and compare them with non-COVID-19 patients. Fifty-two critical patients at the intensive care unit (ICU), 26 [...] Read more.
We aimed to study the possible association of stress hyperglycemia in COVID-19 critically ill patients with prognosis, artificial nutrition, circulating osteocalcin, and other serum markers of inflammation and compare them with non-COVID-19 patients. Fifty-two critical patients at the intensive care unit (ICU), 26 with COVID-19 and 26 non-COVID-19, were included. Glycemic control, delivery of artificial nutrition, serum osteocalcin, total and ICU stays, and mortality were recorded. Patients with COVID-19 had higher ICU stays, were on artificial nutrition for longer (p = 0.004), and needed more frequently insulin infusion therapy (p = 0.022) to control stress hyperglycemia. The need for insulin infusion therapy was associated with higher energy (p = 0.001) and glucose delivered through artificial nutrition (p = 0.040). Those patients with stress hyperglycemia showed higher ICU stays (23 ± 17 vs. 11 ± 13 days, p = 0.007). Serum osteocalcin was a good marker for hyperglycemia, as it inversely correlated with glycemia at admission in the ICU (r = −0.476, p = 0.001) and at days 2 (r = −0.409, p = 0.007) and 3 (r = −0.351, p = 0.049). In conclusion, hyperglycemia in critically ill COVID-19 patients was associated with longer ICU stays. Low circulating osteocalcin was a good marker for stress hyperglycemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Vitamin A Plasma Levels in COVID-19 Patients: A Prospective Multicenter Study and Hypothesis
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072173 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3143
Abstract
COVID-19 is a pandemic disease that causes severe pulmonary damage and hyperinflammation. Vitamin A is a crucial factor in the development of immune functions and is known to be reduced in cases of acute inflammation. This prospective, multicenter observational cross-sectional study analyzed vitamin [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is a pandemic disease that causes severe pulmonary damage and hyperinflammation. Vitamin A is a crucial factor in the development of immune functions and is known to be reduced in cases of acute inflammation. This prospective, multicenter observational cross-sectional study analyzed vitamin A plasma levels in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, and 40 hospitalized patients were included. Of these, 22 developed critical disease (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome [ARDS]/Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation [ECMO]), 9 developed severe disease (oxygen supplementation), and 9 developed moderate disease (no oxygen supplementation). A total of 47 age-matched convalescent persons that had been earlier infected with SARS-CoV-2 were included as the control group. Vitamin A plasma levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Reduced vitamin A plasma levels correlated significantly with increased levels of inflammatory markers (CRP, ferritin) and with markers of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection (reduced lymphocyte count, LDH). Vitamin A levels were significantly lower in hospitalized patients than in convalescent persons (p < 0.01). Of the hospitalized patients, those who were critically ill showed significantly lower vitamin A levels than those who were moderately ill (p < 0.05). Vitamin A plasma levels below 0.2 mg/L were significantly associated with the development of ARDS (OR = 5.54 [1.01–30.26]; p = 0.048) and mortality (OR 5.21 [1.06–25.5], p = 0.042). Taken together, we conclude that vitamin A plasma levels in COVID-19 patients are reduced during acute inflammation and that severely reduced plasma levels of vitamin A are significantly associated with ARDS and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Bad Prognosis in Critical Ill Patients with COVID-19 during Short-Term ICU Stay regarding Vitamin D Levels
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1988; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061988 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2222
Abstract
Background and aims: Vitamin D inadequacy may be involved in the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and in potential risk factors for disease propagation or control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study assessed a short-term evolution of vitamin D status and its influence [...] Read more.
Background and aims: Vitamin D inadequacy may be involved in the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and in potential risk factors for disease propagation or control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study assessed a short-term evolution of vitamin D status and its influence upon different clinical parameters in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Methods: A prospective analytical study in which 37 critically ill volunteers between 41 and 71 years of age with COVID-19 were evaluated at baseline and three days of intensive care unit (ICU) stay. 25-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D2 were analyzed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and total 25-OH-D levels were calculated as the sum of both. Results: All patients presented low 25-OH-D levels at baseline, decreasing total 25-OH-D (p = 0.011) mainly through 25-OH-D2 (p = 0.006) levels during ICU stay. 25-OH-D2 levels decreased a mean of 41.6% ± 89.6% versus 7.0% ± 23.4% for the 25-OH-D3 form during the ICU stay. Patients who did not need invasive mechanical ventilation presented higher levels of 25-OH-D2 at baseline and follow-up. Lower 25-OH-D and 25-OH-D3 levels were associated with higher D-dimer at baseline (p = 0.003; p = 0.001) and at follow up (p = 0.029), higher procalcitonin levels (p = 0.002; p = 0.018) at follow up, and lower percentage lymphocyte counts (p = 0.044; p = 0.040) during ICU stay. Conclusions: Deficient vitamin D status in critical patients was established at the admission and further worsened after three days of stay. Lower vitamin D levels were related to key altered clinical and biochemical parameters on patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given the different response of the 25-OH-D3 and 25-OH-D2 forms, it would be useful to monitor them on the evolution of the critically ill patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Article
Adherence to COVID-19 Nutrition Guidelines Is Associated with Better Nutritional Management Behaviors of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061918 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Good nutritional support is crucial for the immune system to fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, in the context of a pandemic with a highly transmissible coronavirus, implementation of nutrition practice may be difficult. A multicenter electronic survey involving 62 dieticians was [...] Read more.
Good nutritional support is crucial for the immune system to fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, in the context of a pandemic with a highly transmissible coronavirus, implementation of nutrition practice may be difficult. A multicenter electronic survey involving 62 dieticians was conducted, in order to understand barriers associated with dieticians’ adherence to nutrition guidelines for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Indonesia. 69% of dieticians felt under stress when performing nutrition care, and 90% took supplements to boost their own immunity against the coronavirus. The concerns related to clinical practice included a lack of clear guidelines (74%), a lack of access to medical records (55%), inadequate experience or knowledge (48%), and a lack of self-efficacy/confidence (29%) in performing nutritional care. Half (52%) of the dieticians had performed nutrition education/counseling, 47% had monitored a patient’s body weight, and 76% had monitored a patient’s dietary intake. An adjusted linear regression showed that guideline adherence independently predicted the dieticians’ nutrition care behaviors of nutrition counselling (ß: 0.24 (0.002, 0.08); p = 0.04), and monitoring of body weight (ß: 0.43 (0.04, 0.11); p = 0.001) and dietary intake (ß: 0.47(0.03, 0.10); p = 0.001) of COVID-19 patients. Overall, adherence to COVID-19 nutrition guidelines is associated with better nutritional management behaviors in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)

Review

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Review
The Complex Interplay between Immunonutrition, Mast Cells, and Histamine Signaling in COVID-19
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3458; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103458 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1013
Abstract
There is an ongoing need for new therapeutic modalities against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mast cell histamine has been implicated in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 as a regulator of proinflammatory, fibrotic, and thrombogenic processes. Consequently, mast cell histamine and its receptors represent promising pharmacological targets. [...] Read more.
There is an ongoing need for new therapeutic modalities against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mast cell histamine has been implicated in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 as a regulator of proinflammatory, fibrotic, and thrombogenic processes. Consequently, mast cell histamine and its receptors represent promising pharmacological targets. At the same time, nutritional modulation of immune system function has been proposed and is being investigated for the prevention of COVID-19 or as an adjunctive strategy combined with conventional therapy. Several studies indicate that several immunonutrients can regulate mast cell activity to reduce the de novo synthesis and/or release of histamine and other mediators that are considered to mediate, at least in part, the complex pathophysiology present in COVID-19. This review summarizes the effects on mast cell histamine of common immunonutrients that have been investigated for use in COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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Review
Ketogenic Diet as a Preventive and Supportive Care for COVID-19 Patients
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13031004 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2845
Abstract
Severe obesity is associated with an increased risk of admission to intensive care units and need for invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with COVID-19. The association of obesity and COVID-19 prognosis may be related to many different factors, such as chronic systemic inflammation, [...] Read more.
Severe obesity is associated with an increased risk of admission to intensive care units and need for invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with COVID-19. The association of obesity and COVID-19 prognosis may be related to many different factors, such as chronic systemic inflammation, the predisposition to severe respiratory conditions and viral infections. The ketogenic diet is an approach that can be extremely effective in reducing body weight and visceral fat in the short term, preserving the lean mass and reducing systemic inflammation. Therefore, it is a precious preventive measure for severely obese people and may be considered as an adjuvant therapy for patients with respiratory compromise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Nutrition Therapy in Critically Ill and COVID-19 Patients)
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