Article Abstract

A quality improvement program with nutrition therapy: restriction of lipid emulsions in cardiac surgical patients

Authors: Jian Gao, Guo-Wei Tu, Chun-Sheng Wang, Du-Ming Zhu, Lan Liu, Hua Liu, Xiao-Mei Yang, Zhe Luo


Background: To evaluate the effect of restriction of soybean-based intravenous fat emulsions (IVFEs) in clinical outcomes in cardiac surgical patients.
Methods: This was a before-and-after interventional study comparing the clinical outcomes regarding the intervention of IVFEs restriction. Before August 2015, parenteral nutrition (PN) using a soy-based lipid emulsion was routinely implemented if patients failed to meet >60% of energy requirements in 48 h post cardiac surgery (Period A). Beginning in August 2015, a lipid restriction strategy was implemented in our cardiac surgery intensive care unit (CSICU) unless enteral route could not be established within 7 days (Period B). The ICU and hospital mortality, nosocomial infections during ICU stay, length of ICU and hospital stay, ICU and hospital cost, mechanical ventilation time and postoperative complications were compared between two periods.
Results: A total of 761 patients (370 patients in Period A and 391 patients in Period B) were ultimately enrolled in this study. There were no significant differences in demographic characteristics and intraoperative and postoperative parameters between the two groups. After the implementation of IVFEs restriction, the overall ICU mortality and hospital mortality were similar between two groups. Nosocomial infection rate was significantly reduced (3.84% vs. 7.84%, P=0.021). The mean length of ICU stay (3.15 vs. 3.74 days, P<0.001) and hospital stay (12.14 vs. 13.24 days, P<0.001) were significantly lower. The mean in-hospital cost (133,368 vs. 139,383 Yuan, P=0.037) was found to be reduced after implementation of IVFEs restriction. The duration of mechanical ventilation was shorter in the latter period (35.23±10.43 vs. 47.63±12.54 hours, P=0.011). IVFEs restriction was also associated with reduced cholestasis (2.81% vs. 6.76%, P=0.013).
Conclusions: The implementation of soybean-based IVFEs restriction in cardiac surgical patients was associated with reduced postoperative nosocomial infection rate. It also led to reductions in the length of ICU/hospital stay, hospital costs and mechanical ventilation time and a lower incidence of cholestasis. Further studies are required to validate the conclusions.