Metabolic changes after polytrauma: an imperative for early nutritional support
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80204, USA
2 Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, Charité University Medical Center, Campus Benjamin Franklin, 12200 Berlin, Germany
3 Department of Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO 80204, USA
World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2006, 1:29 doi:10.1186/1749-7922-1-29Published: 4 October 2006
Major trauma induces marked metabolic changes which contribute to the systemic immune suppression in severely injured patients and increase the risk of infection and posttraumatic organ failure. The hypercatabolic state of polytrauma patients must be recognized early and treated by an appropriate nutritional management in order to avoid late complications. Clinical studies in recent years have supported the concept of "immunonutrition" for severely injured patients, which takes into account the supplementation of Ω-3 fatty acids and essential aminoacids, such as glutamine. Yet many aspects of the nutritional strategies for polytrauma patients remain controversial, including the exact timing, caloric and protein amount of nutrition, choice of enteral versus parenteral route, and duration. The present review will provide an outline of the pathophysiological metabolic changes after major trauma that endorse the current basis for early immunonutrition of polytrauma patients.