Postpyloric vs gastric enteral nutrition in critically ill children: A single-center retrospective cohort study

Enid E. Martinez, Patrice Melvin, Charles Callif, Ashley D. Turner, Susan Hamilton, Nilesh M. Mehta

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Background: We aimed to describe enteral nutrition (EN) delivery in patients receiving postpyloric EN (PPEN) vs gastric EN (GEN). Methods: Single-center retrospective study including patients aged <21 years admitted to an intensive care unit in a pediatric quaternary care hospital for ≧48 h who received PPEN or GEN as a first approach, as guided by a nutrition algorithm. PPEN patients were 1:1 propensity score matched to GEN patients on demographics, clinical characteristics, and disease severity. Days to EN initiation from admission, percentage of EN adequacy (delivered EN volume/prescribed EN volume) on days 1–3 and 7 after EN initiation, and time to achieving 60% of prescribed EN volume were compared between the two groups using Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney tests and a Cox proportional hazards model. Data are presented as median (IQR1, IQR3). Results: Forty-six PPEN and 46 GEN patients were matched. Median time to EN initiation was 3.25 (2, 6.8) days for PPEN and 4.15 (1.5, 7.1) days for GEN (P = 0.6). Percentage of EN adequacy was greater for PPEN than GEN patients (day 1 PPEN 59.4% [18.8, 87.5] vs GEN 21.1% [7.8, 62.8], day 2 PPEN 54.3% [16.7, 95.8] vs GEN 24% [5.4, 56.7], day 3 PPEN 65.4% [14.7, 100] vs GEN 16% [0, 64.6], day 7 PPEN 77.8% [11.1, 100] vs GEN 13.8% [0, 74.5]; P < 0.05). PPEN patients had greater likelihood of achieving 60% of their prescribed EN volume than GEN patients (hazard ratio 1.84, 95% CI 1.07–3.15; P = 0.028). Conclusion: PPEN was associated with greater EN delivery compared with GEN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2023


  • children
  • critical care
  • enteral nutrition
  • gastric
  • postpyloric


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