Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Randomized Controlled Trial
, 40 (2), 242-9

Hypocaloric vs Normocaloric Nutrition in Critically Ill Patients: A Prospective Randomized Pilot Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial

Hypocaloric vs Normocaloric Nutrition in Critically Ill Patients: A Prospective Randomized Pilot Trial

Sirak Petros et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr.


Background: Optimal nutrition of critically ill patients is still a matter of debate. This pilot trial aimed to compare the impact of normocaloric vs hypocaloric feeding in critically ill patients in the first 7 days in the intensive care unit (ICU). The primary end point was the rate of nosocomial infections during the ICU stay.

Methods: Critically ill patients requiring artificial nutrition for at least 72 hours were included within 24 hours of ICU admission and randomized into a normocaloric group (receiving 100% of their daily energy expenditure) and a hypocaloric group (receiving 50% of their daily energy expenditure).

Results: One hundred patients were included (54 in the normocaloric group and 46 in the hypocaloric group). There were 66 male and 34 female patients with a mean age of 65.8 ± 11.6 years. The mean daily caloric supply was 19.7 ± 5.7 kcal/kg for the normocaloric group and 11.3 ± 3.1 kcal/kg for the hypocaloric group (P = .0001). Insulin demand was significantly higher and gastrointestinal intolerance more frequent in the normocaloric group than in the hypocaloric group. Nosocomial infections were detected more frequently in the hypocaloric group than in the normocaloric group (26.1% vs 11.1%, respectively). The ICU mortality rate was 22.2% in the normocaloric group and 21.7% in the hypocaloric group (not significant). The hospital mortality rate was 31.5% in the normocaloric group and 37.0% in the hypocaloric group (P = .67).

Conclusion: Hypocaloric feeding in the first 7 days in critically ill patients was associated with more nosocomial infections but less insulin demand and less gastrointestinal intolerance compared with normocaloric feeding.

Trial registration number: DRKS00000104 (German Clinical Trials Register).

Keywords: critical illness; hypocaloric feeding; normocaloric feeding; nutrition; outcome.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 32 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

Associated data