Elimination of Routine Gastric Residual Volume Monitoring Improves Patient Outcomes in Adult Critically Ill Patients in a Community Hospital Setting

Tracy Bruen, Shristi Rawal, Jennifer Tomesko, Laura Byham-Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: A community hospital updated its nutrition support practices in 2016 through the elimination of monitoring gastric residual volume (GRV) in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines for the Provision and Assessment of Nutrition Support Therapy in the Adult Critically Ill Patient: Society of Critical Care Medicine and American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Methods: This retrospective analysis (N = 61) compared incidence of feeding intolerance in 2 cohorts of adult critically ill patients pre-implementation (n = 36) and post-implementation (n = 25) of these guidelines into a nutrition support team's standard of practice policy. Differences in kilocalories and protein (gm) received and percent of daily prescribed kilocalories and protein received were also compared between the 2 cohorts. Results: Mean episodes of gastrointestinal intolerance over the number of eligible days of receiving enteral nutrition in the critical care unit did not differ between the pre-implementation and post-implementation groups (P = 0.46). Compared with the pre-implementation group, the post-guideline implementation cohort was significantly more likely to meet higher percentages of both prescribed protein (71.8 ± 22.2% vs 55.9 ± 24.0%; P = 0.01) and energy requirements (93.4 ± 36.9% vs 69.6 ± 35.3%; P = 0.01), even after adjusting for potential confounders (age, body mass index, sex, and primary comorbid medical condition). Conclusion: Elimination of routine monitoring of GRV may result in a greater percentage of prescribed daily nutrient requirements met by patients in the critical care setting, without adverse effects on feeding intolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • critical illness
  • enteral nutrition
  • gastric residual volume
  • guidelines
  • nutrition support

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