James F. Mooney III, MD
Perioperative Enteric Nutritional Supplementation in Pediatric Patients With Neuromuscular Scoliosis
ABSTRACT: Perioperative nutritional status has been shown to be important in minimizing complications after extensive spinal procedures. Traditionally, total parenteral nutrition has been used to supplement oral nutrition intake. Little information exists regarding the risks and benefits of enteric supplementation in pediatric patients. To assess use and safety of enteric nutritional supplementation after extensive pediatric spine surgery, a retrospective review was done of 21 consecutive pediatric cerebral palsy patients receiving enteric nutritional supplementation via nasal or gastric feeding tubes after, and/or between stages of, anterior and posterior spinal fusions. Enteric supplementation was maintained for an average of 9.1 days, and the lowest albumin and total protein levels were seen the third postoperative
day. Enteric nutritional supplementation was found to be a safe alternative to total
parenteral nutrition in pediatric cerebral palsy patients after spinal stabilization procedures. In
addition, enteric feedings may be less costly than central hyperalimentation and do not carry the inherent risk of central venous access.