Comparison of the nutritional indicators of critically ill patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygen (ECMO)

Nah Mee Shin, Suk Yeon Ha, Yoon Soo Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed at investigating the nutritional status, nutritional support, and nutritional indicators of critically ill patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygen (ECMO) in intensive care units (ICU). Methods: This descriptive study obtained data from the medical records of 37 patients who were treated using ECMO at a university hospital in Korea. The patients were admitted to the Korea University Anam Hospital ICU with acute or serious damage to vital organs from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016. Results: Although 32 patients (86.5%) were at a high risk of malnutrition, 26 patients (70.3%) were considered normal in terms of nutritional status by the nutritionist at the beginning of their ICU stay. However, after two weeks, nine patients had passed away and only one patient maintained normal status. Parenteral nutrition was started first but took 4.25 ± 6.95 days till initiation. Only eight patients (21.6%) were able to meet their requirement for both calories and protein. The group provided with adequate calorie and protein showed significantly longer use of the ECMO and respirator and longer ICU and total hospital stay than their counterparts. Normal levels of serum albumin and protein of the group at low-risk for malnutrition on the day of initiation of ECMO, which were significantly higher than the high-risk group, declined by the last day of ECMO leading to a lack of significant differences between the two groups. Conclusion: Considering that the nutritional indicators of patients deteriorated as the days on ECMO increased, more aggressive nutritional management to ensure adequate nutritional support should be emphasized from the beginning and throughout the ICU stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-500
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from Korea University Nursing Research Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Korean Nutrition Society This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Intensive care units
  • Nutritional support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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