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May 22, 2013

Residual Gastric Volume and Risk of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, District Hospital Center, La Roche-sur-Yon, France (

JAMA. 2013;309(20):2090-2091. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4093

In Reply: Despite the data obtained in our trial, Drs Elke and Heyland state that by continuously monitoring residual gastric volume, clinicians can detect more readily patients with delayed gastric emptying and intervene with strategies that minimize the risk of enteral nutrition. However, guidelines state that “residual gastric volumes in the range of 200-500 mL should raise concern and lead to the implementation of measures to reduce risk of aspiration” and acknowledge that “residual gastric volume does not correlate well to incidence of pneumonia, measures of gastric emptying, or incidence of regurgitation and aspiration.”1

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