Outcomes Six Months after Delivering 100% or 70% of Enteral Calorie Requirements during Critical Illness (TARGET). A Randomized Controlled Trial

Adam M. Deane, Lorraine Little, Rinaldo Bellomo, Marianne J. Chapman, Andrew R. Davies, Suzie Ferrie, Michael Horowitz, Sally Hurford, Kylie Lange, Edward Litton, Diane Mackle, Stephanie O'Connor, Jane Parker, Sandra L. Peake, Jeffrey J. Presneill, Emma J. Ridley, Vanessa Singh, Frank van Haren, Patricia Williams, Paul YoungTheodore J. Iwashyna, on behalf of the TARGET Investigators and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: The long-term effects of delivering approximately 100% of recommended calorie intake via the enteral route during critical illness compared with a lesser amount of calories are unknown.Objectives: Our hypotheses were that achieving approximately 100% of recommended calorie intake during critical illness would increase quality-of-life scores, return to work, and key life activities and reduce death and disability 6 months later.Methods: We conducted a multicenter, blinded, parallel group, randomized clinical trial, with 3,957 mechanically ventilated critically ill adults allocated to energy-dense (1.5 kcal/ml) or routine (1.0 kcal/ml) enteral nutrition.Measurements and Main Results: Participants assigned energy-dense nutrition received more calories (percent recommended energy intake, mean [SD]; energy-dense: 103% [28] vs. usual: 69% [18]). Mortality at Day 180 was similar (560/1,895 [29.6%] vs. 539/1,920 [28.1%]; relative risk 1.05 [95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.16]). At a median (interquartile range) of 185 (182-193) days after randomization, 2,492 survivors were surveyed and reported similar quality of life (EuroQol five dimensions five-level quality-of-life questionnaire visual analog scale, median [interquartile range]: 75 [60-85]; group difference: 0 [95% confidence interval, 0-0]). Similar numbers of participants returned to work with no difference in hours worked or effectiveness at work (n = 818). There was no observed difference in disability (n = 1,208) or participation in key life activities (n = 705).Conclusions: The delivery of approximately 100% compared with 70% of recommended calorie intake during critical illness does not improve quality of life or functional outcomes or increase the number of survivors 6 months later.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-822
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • critical illness
  • disability and health
  • enteral nutrition
  • quality of life

Cite this