Background: Arginine is considered an essential amino acid during critical illness in children, and supplementation of arginine has been proposed to improve arginine availability to facilitate nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Protein-energy-enriched enteral formulas (PE-formulas) can improve nutrient intake and promote anabolism in critically ill infants. However, the effect of increased protein and energy intake on arginine metabolism is not known Objective: We investigated the effect of a PE-formula compared with that of a standard infant formula (S-formula) on arginine kinetics in critically ill infants Design: A 2-h stable-isotope tracer protocol was conducted in 2 groups of critically ill infants with respiratory failure because of viral bronchiolitis, who received either a PE-formula (n = 8) or S-formula (n = 10) in a randomized, blinded, controlled setting. Data were reported as means 6 SDs Results: The intake of a PE-formula in critically ill infants (aged 0.23 6 0.14 y) resulted in an increased arginine appearance (PEformula: 248 6 114 mmol $ kg21 $ h21; S-formula: 130 6 53 mmol $ kg21 $ h21; P = 0.012) and NO synthesis (PE-formula: 1.92 6 0.99 mmol $ kg21 $ h21; S-formula: 0.84 6 0.36 mmol $ kg21 $ h21; P = 0.003), whereas citrulline production and plasma arginine concentrations were unaffected Conclusion: In critically ill infants with respiratory failure because of viral bronchiolitis, the intake of a PE-formula increases arginine availability by increasing arginine appearance, which leads to increased NO synthesis, independent of plasma arginine concentrations.

dx.doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.042523, hdl.handle.net/1765/68926
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Department of Pediatric Surgery

de Betue, C.T, Joosten, K.F.M, Deutz, N.E.P, Vreugdenhil, A.C.E, & van Waardenburg, D.A. (2013). Arginine appearance and nitric oxide synthesis in critically ill infants can be increased with a protein-energy-enriched enteral formula. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(4), 907–916. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.042523