Approximation of Resting Energy Expenditure in Intensive Care Unit Patients Using the SenseWear Bracelet: A Comparison With Indirect Calorimetry

JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2017 Aug;41(6):976-980. doi: 10.1177/0148607116633808. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Background and aims: Indirect calorimetry (IC) is the gold standard for determining energy expenditure in patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Metabolic armbands using data derived from dermal measurements have been proposed as an alternative to IC in healthy subjects, but their utility during critical illness is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the level of agreement between the SenseWear armband and the Deltatrac Metabolic Monitor in mechanically ventilated intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

Methods: Adult ICU patients requiring invasive ventilator therapy were eligible for inclusion. Simultaneous measurements were performed with the SenseWear Armband and Deltatrac under stable conditions. Resting energy expenditure (REE) values were registered for both instruments and compared with Bland-Altman plots.

Results: Forty-two measurements were performed in 30 patients. The SenseWear Armband measured significantly higher REE values as compared with IC (mean bias, 85 kcal/24 h; P = .027). Less variability was noted between individual SenseWear measurements and REE as predicted by the Harris-Benedict equation (2 SD, ±327 kcal/24 h) than when IC was compared with SenseWear and Harris-Benedict (2 SD, ±473 and ±543 kcal/24 h, respectively).

Conclusions: The systematic bias and large variability of the SenseWear armband when compared with gas exchange measurements confer limited benefits over the Harris Benedict equation in determining caloric requirements of ICU patients.

Keywords: Deltatrac; SenseWear; energy expenditure; indirect calorimetry; intensive care unit; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Calorimetry, Indirect*
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Respiration, Artificial