open access

Vol 50, No 1 (2018)
Review articles
Published online: 2017-11-19
Submitted: 2017-10-10
Accepted: 2017-11-15
Get Citation

The black box revelation: monitoring gastrointestinal function

Pieter-Jan Moonen, Annika Reintam Blaser, Joel Starkopf, Heleen M. Oudemans-van Straaten, Jan Van der Mullen, Griet Vermeulen, Manu L.N.G. Malbrain
DOI: 10.5603/AIT.a2017.0065
·
Pubmed: 29152710
·
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2018;50(1):72-81.

open access

Vol 50, No 1 (2018)
Review articles
Published online: 2017-11-19
Submitted: 2017-10-10
Accepted: 2017-11-15

Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract comprises diverse functions. Despite recent developments in technology and science,
there is no single and universal tool to monitor GI function in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Clinical evaluation
is complex and has a low sensitivity to diagnose pathological processes in the abdomen. We performed a MEDLINE
and Pubmed search connecting abdominal assessment and critical care. Based on these findings we defined the following
major categories of monitoring and diagnostic measures: clinical investigation; assessment of motility and
digestive function; microbiome monitoring; perfusion monitoring; laboratory biomarkers and hormonal function;
intra-abdominal pressure measurement; and imaging techniques. Only a few of these monitoring and assessment
tools have found their way into clinical practice, as most of them have one or more significant objections preventing
broad implementation in daily clinical practice. Further research should be directed to reaffirm and define the use
of current techniques to ascertain their validity and usefulness to monitor gastrointestinal function in ICU patients.

Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract comprises diverse functions. Despite recent developments in technology and science,
there is no single and universal tool to monitor GI function in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Clinical evaluation
is complex and has a low sensitivity to diagnose pathological processes in the abdomen. We performed a MEDLINE
and Pubmed search connecting abdominal assessment and critical care. Based on these findings we defined the following
major categories of monitoring and diagnostic measures: clinical investigation; assessment of motility and
digestive function; microbiome monitoring; perfusion monitoring; laboratory biomarkers and hormonal function;
intra-abdominal pressure measurement; and imaging techniques. Only a few of these monitoring and assessment
tools have found their way into clinical practice, as most of them have one or more significant objections preventing
broad implementation in daily clinical practice. Further research should be directed to reaffirm and define the use
of current techniques to ascertain their validity and usefulness to monitor gastrointestinal function in ICU patients.

Get Citation

Keywords

gastrointestinal function, monitoring, assessment, imaging, biomarkers, abdominal pressure, perfusion

About this article
Title

The black box revelation: monitoring gastrointestinal function

Journal

Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy

Issue

Vol 50, No 1 (2018)

Pages

72-81

Published online

2017-11-19

DOI

10.5603/AIT.a2017.0065

Pubmed

29152710

Bibliographic record

Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2018;50(1):72-81.

Keywords

gastrointestinal function
monitoring
assessment
imaging
biomarkers
abdominal pressure
perfusion

Authors

Pieter-Jan Moonen
Annika Reintam Blaser
Joel Starkopf
Heleen M. Oudemans-van Straaten
Jan Van der Mullen
Griet Vermeulen
Manu L.N.G. Malbrain

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