Utilization of parenteral nutrition in major gastrointestinal surgery: An opportunity for quality improvement

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Clin Nutr ESPEN


BACKGROUND & AIMS: Parenteral nutrition (PN) is commonly utilized to support patients in the perioperative period of major gastrointestinal (GI) surgeries. This study sought to evaluate PN utilization based on malnutrition status and duration of PN use in a single academic institution to evaluate baseline ASPEN recommendation concordance and identify opportunities for quality improvement.

METHODS: Patients who had undergone major GI surgical oncology operations and received PN were identified over six months. The medical charts were reviewed for clinicopathologic variables, nutrition status, and the initiation and duration of PN. The cohort was stratified by PN recommendation concordance, and intergroup comparisons were made to identify factors associated with non-concordant utilization of PN.

RESULTS: Eighty-one patients were identified, 38.3% of patients were initiated on PN due to dysmotility. Other indications were: intra-abdominal leak (27.2%), mechanical obstruction (18.5%), and failure to thrive (16.0%). Non-concordant PN utilization was identified in 67.9% (55/81) of patients. The most frequent reason for non-concordance was initiation outside the recommended time frame due to severity of malnutrition; well-nourished patients started "too soon" accounted for 29.0% (16/55), and 61.8% started "too late," most of whom were moderately or severely malnourished (34/55). In 16.0% (13/81) of the overall cohort, PN was administered for fewer than five days.

CONCLUSIONS: PN use during the perioperative period surrounding major GI oncologic operations is clinically nuanced and frequently not concordant with established ASPEN recommendations. Quality improvement efforts should focus on reducing delayed PN initiation for nutritionally at-risk patients without increasing premature PN use in well-nourished patients.

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Humans; Digestive System Surgical Procedures; Quality Improvement; Perioperative Period; Malnutrition; Parenteral Nutrition

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