Estimating energy expenditure in vascular surgery patients: Are predictive equations accurate enough?

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Background & aims Malnutrition is prevalent in vascular surgical patients who commonly seek tertiary care at advanced stages of disease. Adjunct nutrition support is therefore pertinent to optimise patient outcomes. To negate consequences related to excessive or suboptimal dietary energy intake, it is essential to accurately determine energy expenditure and subsequent requirements. This study aims to compare resting energy expenditure (REE) measured by indirect calorimetry, a commonly used comparator, to REE estimated by predictive equations (Schofield, Harris–Benedict equations and Miller equation) to determine the most suitable equation for vascular surgery patients. Methods Data were collected from four studies that measured REE in 77 vascular surgery patients. Bland–Altman analyses were conducted to explore agreement. Presence of fixed or proportional bias was assessed by linear regression analyses. Results In comparison to measured REE, on average REE was overestimated when Schofield (+857 kJ/day), Harris–Benedict (+801 kJ/day) and Miller (+71 kJ/day) equations were used. Wide limits of agreement led to an over or underestimation from 1552 to 1755 kJ. Proportional bias was absent in Schofield (R2 = 0.005, p = 0.54) and Harris–Benedict equations (R2 = 0.045, p = 0.06) but was present in the Miller equation (R2 = 0.210, p < 0.01) even after logarithmic transformation (R2 = 0.213, p < 0.01). Conclusions Whilst the Miller equation tended to overestimate resting energy expenditure and was affected by proportional bias, the limits of agreement and mean bias were smaller compared to Schofield and Harris–Benedict equations. This suggested that it is the preferred predictive equation for vascular surgery patients. Future research to refine the Miller equation to improve its overall accuracy will better inform the provision of nutritional support for vascular surgery patients and subsequently improve outcomes. Alternatively, an equation might be developed specifically for use with vascular surgery patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Harris Benedict equation
  • Miller equation
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Resting energy expenditure
  • Schofield equation


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