Gastrointestinal failure in the ICU.

Reintam Blaser, Annika; Jakob, Stephan; Starkopf, Joel (2016). Gastrointestinal failure in the ICU. Current opinion in critical care, 22(2), pp. 128-141. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000286

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW The current review summarizes different aspects of assessment of gastrointestinal function and provides a practical approach to management of adult patients with gastrointestinal dysfunction in the ICU. RECENT FINDINGS Different ways to define gastrointestinal failure have been used in the past. Recently, the term 'acute gastrointestinal injury (AGI)' has been proposed to specifically describe gastrointestinal dysfunction as a part of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Possible pathophysiological mechanisms and different aspects in assessment of gastrointestinal function in adult ICU patients are presented. Currently, there is no single marker that could reliably describe gastrointestinal dysfunction. Therefore, monitoring and management is still based on complex assessment of different gastrointestinal symptoms and feeding intolerance, even though this approach includes a large amount of subjectivity. The possible role of biomarkers (citrulline, enterohormones, etc.) and additional parameters like intra-abdominal pressure remains to be clarified. SUMMARY Defining gastrointestinal failure remains challenging but broad consensus needs to be reached and disseminated soon to allow conduct of interventional studies. A systematic approach to management of gastrointestinal problems is recommended.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic of Intensive Care

UniBE Contributor:

Jakob, Stephan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Mirella Aeberhard

Date Deposited:

05 Apr 2017 09:55

Last Modified:

05 Apr 2017 09:55

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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