Rationale: We hypothesized that providing patients with acute lung injury two different protein/calorie nutritional strategies in the intensive care unit may affect longer-term physical and cognitive performance.
Objectives: To assess physical and cognitive performance 6 and 12 months after acute lung injury, and to evaluate the effect of trophic versus full enteral feeding, provided for the first 6 days of mechanical ventilation, on 6-minute-walk distance, cognitive impairment, and secondary outcomes.
Methods: A prospective, longitudinal ancillary study of the ARDS Network EDEN trial evaluating 174 consecutive survivors from 5 of 12 centers. Blinded assessments of patients' arm anthropometrics, strength, pulmonary function, 6-minute-walk distance, and cognitive status (executive function, language, memory, verbal reasoning/concept formation, and attention) were performed.
Measurements and main results: At 6 and 12 months, respectively, the mean (SD) percent predicted for 6-minute-walk distance was 64% (22%) and 66% (25%) (P = 0.011 for difference between assessments), and 36 and 25% of survivors had cognitive impairment (P = 0.001). Patients performed below predicted values for secondary physical tests with small improvement from 6 to 12 months. There was no significant effect of initial trophic versus full feeding for the first 6 days after randomization on survivors' percent predicted for 6-minute-walk distance, cognitive impairment status, and all secondary outcomes.
Conclusions: EDEN trial survivors performed below predicted values for physical and cognitive performance at 6 and 12 months, with some improvement over time. Initial trophic versus full enteral feeding for the first 6 days after randomization did not affect physical and cognitive performance.