Oxygen utilisation in patients on prolonged parenteral nutrition; a case-controlled study.

Ahmed B; Shaw S; Pratt O; Forde C; Lal S; Carlson Cbe G;

Clinical nutrition ESPEN [Clin Nutr ESPEN] 2023 Aug; Vol. 56, pp. 152-157.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2023 May 19.

Background: Parenteral nutrition (PN) deficient in mitochondrial substrates and thiamine may lead to acidosis. This, combined with fatigue seen in patients with intestinal failure (IF), may suggest suboptimal oxidative metabolism. We therefore studied oxygen utilisation in otherwise apparently well-nourished individuals with intestinal failure receiving long term PN.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis conducted in a tertiary IF institution, from 2010 to 2019, comparing treadmill/bicycle cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) derived variables including peak oxygen consumption (VO 2 peak ), anaerobic threshold (AT) and ventilatory efficiency (minute ventilation (VE)/CO 2 output (VCO 2 ) of patients with IF (cases) to those without (controls), matched in a 1:2 ratio for age ( ± 3 years), gender, use of beta-blockers and physiology parameters of p-POSSUM score ( ± 5). All subjects were free of sepsis and metastatic malignancy. Mann-Whitney or Student’s t-test for continuous and Fisher’s exact or chi-squared test for categorical variables were used as appropriate. Data shown represent mean or median values.
Results: Participants (31 cases, 62 controls) were comparable in age (65.4 vs. 65.3, p = 0.98); p-POSSUM parameters (18.0 vs. 17.0, p = 0.45); gender (p = 1.00); smoking status (p = 0.52); use of beta-blockers (p = 1.00) and ≤10 mg/day of oral steroids (p = 0.34). Participants had been on PN for 11.0 (6.0-24.0) months and were adequately nourished (requirements 27.6 kcal/kg/day, replacement 23.5 kcal/kg/day). No differences were found between VO 2 peak (15.2 vs. 14.6 ml/kg/min, p = 0.96), AT (10.4 vs. 11.0 ml/kg/min, p = 0.44) and VE/VCO 2 (33.0 vs. 33.0, p = 0.96) of the examined groups.
Conclusion: Patients with intestinal failure receiving PN who are apparently well-nourished also appear to have normal oxygen utilisation, suggesting alternative causes for fatigue. More studies will be required to determine whether CPET could reliably be used to assess perioperative risk in this group of patients.