Introduction: In critically ill pediatric patients, optimal energy and protein intakes are associated with a decreased risk of morbidity and mortality. However, the determination of energy and protein needs is complex. The objective of this scoping review was to understand the extent and type of evidence related to the methods used to determine energy and protein needs in
critically ill pediatric patients. Methods: An international expert group composed of dietitians, pediatric intensivists, a nurse, and a methodologist conducted the review, based on the Johanna Briggs Institute methodology. Two researchers searched for studies published between 2008 and 2023 in two electronic databases, screened abstracts and relevant full texts for eligibility, and extracted data. Results: A total of 39 studies were included, mostly conducted in critically ill
children undergoing ventilation, to assess the accuracy of predictive equations for estimating resting energy expenditure (REE) (n = 16, 41%) and the impact of clinical factors (n = 22, 56%). They confirmed the risk of underestimation or overestimation of REE when using predictive equations, of which the Schofield equation was the least inaccurate. Apart from weight and age, which were positively correlated with REE, the impact of other factors was not always consistent. No new indirect calorimeter method used to determine protein needs has been validated. Conclusion: This scoping review highlights the need for scientific data on the methods used to measure energy expenditure and determine protein needs in critically ill children. Studies using a reference method are needed to validate an indirect calorimeter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S103-S124
Number of pages4
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Volume38 Suppl 2
Issue numberS2
Early online date18 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2023


  • Academies and Institutes
  • Child
  • Critical Illness - therapy
  • Databases, Factual
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nutritionists
  • children
  • critical illness
  • energy expenditure
  • pediatric intensive care unit
  • pediatrics
  • protein requirements


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