NUTRITION AND THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT: Edited by Peter J.M. Weijs and Stephen A. McClaveGastrointestinal dysfunction relating to the provision of nutrition in the critically illChapman, Marianne J.a,b,c; Deane, Adam M.a,b,cAuthor Information aDepartment of Critical Care Services, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace bNHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in the Translation of Nutritional Science into Good Health cDiscipline of Acute Care Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Correspondence to Marianne J. Chapman, Intensive Care Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8222 4624; fax: +61 8 8222 2367; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2015 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 207-212 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000149 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review During critical illness, enteral nutrition remains central to clinical care and an understanding of gut dysfunction is therefore important. Contemporary data have contributed to our knowledge in this area and this review will concentrate on recently published studies. Recent findings It is difficult to precisely measure gastric emptying and nutrient absorption as part of routine clinical care. However, techniques for the measurement of these parameters for research purposes have been refined, studied and validated. These methodologies allow the evaluation of novel treatments that modulate gastric emptying. Quantification and an understanding of the mechanisms of nutrient malabsorption may facilitate the development of therapeutic agents to improve absorption and/or formulae, which are more readily absorbed, thereby improving nutritional and clinical outcomes. Summary Improved understanding of gut pathophysiology in critical illness provides opportunities for the development and testing of novel and targeted treatment strategies, with the objective to improve clinical outcomes in this group. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.