Traditional formulas, such as the Harris and Benedict equation (HBE), do not accurately predict energy expenditure (EE) in mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients (MVCIP). The purpose of this study was to develop a predictive EE equation to assess EE requirements in MVCIP. A portable metabolic cart was used to measure indirectly EE in 112 MVCIP. Patients were studied at rest and for 30 min on the first or second day of ICU admission. No nutrition was received during the study period. Variables investigated were: age, BSA, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) score, sepsis score, Injury Severity Score (ISS), respiratory rate (f), tidal volume (VT), minute ventilation, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, body temperature (Temp), and outcome. Patient age, APACHE II score, sepsis score, ISS, and BSA were 50 ± 20 yr, 16 ± 7, 11 ± 6, 32 ± 14, and 1.80 ± 0.27 m2, respectively. Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used with EE as the dependent variable. A predictive equation (EE[kcal/day] = 945 BSA — 6.4 age + 108 Temp + 24.2 f + 817 VT – 4349) was determined from variables that contributed >3% to the variance of EE: BSA (52%), age (10%), f (5%), VT (5%), and Temp (3%). The HBE underestimated measured EE by 34 ± 19% and in 79 patients deviated >15%. Using the new equation, only 15 patients' EE deviated >15% from measured EE. The new predictive EE equation can accurately assess EE in MVCIP.
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