Measured Metabolic Requirement for Septic Shock Patients Before and After Liberation from Mechanical Ventilation

  • Peggy Lee Lee

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Health (DHealth)


Objectives: Negative energy balance can impair regeneration of the respiratory epithelium and limit the functionality of respiratory muscles, which can prolong mechanical ventilation. The present study sought to quantify and identify deviation in energy requirements of patients with septic shock during and upon liberation from mechanical ventilation. Methods: Patients admitted into intensive care with initial diagnosis of septic shock and mechanical ventilation-dependent were recruited. Their metabolic requirements before and after liberation from mechanical ventilation were measured by indirect calorimetry. Paired t-test was used to examine the variance between the two modes of breathing and Spearman rho correlation coefficient to examine relationship of selected indicators. Results: Thirty-five patients, 20 males and 15 females mean age 69 ±10 years, body height of 1.58 ±0.08 meters, and ideal body weight 59.01 ±7.63 kg were recruited. Median APACHEII score was 22, length of stay in the intensive care was 45 ±65 days and duration on mechanical ventilation was 24 ±25 days. Measured energy expenditure during ventilation was 2090 ±489 kcal∙d-1 upon liberation from ventilation was 1910 ±579 kcal∙d-1, and actual caloric intake was 1148 ±495 kcal∙d-1. Paired-t test showed that measured energy expenditure (p=0.02), actual calories provision and energy expenditure with (p=0.00) and without (p=0.00) ventilator support were all significantly different. Mean carbohydrate oxidation was 0.17 ±0.09 g·min-1 when patients were on mechanical ventilation compared to 0.14 ±0.08 g·min-1 upon liberalization from it, however, the results were not statistically significant. Furthermore, mean lipid oxidation was 0.08 ±0.05 g·min-1 during mechanical ventilation and 0.09±0.07 g·min-1 upon liberalization from it and the mean difference was not statistically significant. Spearman correlation coefficient showed a positive relationship between actual calorie provision and duration of stay in intensive care (r=0.41 and p=0.01) and duration on mechanical ventilation (r=0.55 and p=0.00). Oxygen consumption (r=0.49 and p=0.00) and carbon dioxide production (r=0.4 and p=0.02) were moderately strong and positive during and upon liberation from mechanical ventilation. Correlation between lipid oxidation and oxygen consumption during ventilation (r=0.74, p=0.00) and after ventilation (r=0.82, p=0.00) as well as lipid oxidation and carbon dioxide production during ventilation (r=0.37, p=0.03) and liberation from ventilator (r=0.91, p=0.00) were significantly correlated with each other in grams per minute only. Conclusions: This is a pioneering study to examine energy expenditure and substrate utilization and oxidation within a single cohort of patients. The lower measured energy expenditure upon liberation from mechanical ventilation among critically ill patients could result from positive pressure support from ventilation, the repeated cycle of “rest” and “work” during weaning from ventilators and the asynchronization between self-initiated breathing effort and the ventilatory support. The positive relationship in duration on mechanical ventilation and length of stay with calorie consumption could be longer stay led to more time for progression to reach nutrition targets. . Any discrepancy in energy expenditure and substrate utilization with and without ventilatory support should be monitored. Future studies are important to examine whether matching energy expenditure with energy intake could promote positive clinical outcomes.
Date of Award19 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJames Betts (Supervisor) & K L Lee (Supervisor)


  • energy expenditure
  • mechanical ventilation
  • nutrition support
  • indirect calorimetry
  • septic shock
  • sepsis

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