Changes in metabolism, i.e. changes in how energy is generated and utilized, are part of the adaptive response of the human body to survive acute critical illness. The mobilization of energy reserves is sustained by the continuous breakdown of molecules, which brings about the loss of lean muscle mass (muscle atrophy).
Severe muscle atrophy can, if untreated, lead to complications and in the worst case, death.
Progressive muscle wasting may be preventable by combining therapies including prevention of hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose), management of pain, agitation and delirium, early mobilization, and a sufficient nutritional supply of calories and amino acids specified to the individual patient’s needs.
Our research goal is to develop model-based clinical decision support systems for patient-specific metabolic care that help clinicians to:
- systematically follow up on the development of muscle atrophy in patients with critical illness
- gain an insight and get a better understanding of the metabolic changes that happen in the individual patient over the course of illness
- recommend the most effective strategy with the best chances to prevent muscle atrophy, and also to adapt this strategy over time