University of Waterloo Researcher Wins A.S.P.E.N. Award

March 1, 2016, Silver Spring, MD – Michael Paris, Master of Science Student in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, has been named a Research Trainee Award recipient by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). The award is for his research which examined whether measuring quadriceps muscle layer thickness (QMLT) could determine muscle atrophy in critically ill patients. Paris presented the study Validation of Bedside Ultrasound of Muscular Layer Thickness of the Quadriceps in the Critically Ill Patient (VALIDUM Study): Preliminary Results at A.S.P.E.N.’s Clinical Nutrition Week in Austin, Texas, January 16-19.

According to Paris, muscle atrophy in critically ill patients is a strong predictor of morbidity, mortality, and long-term disability. However, determining muscle atrophy is difficult in most intensive care units (ICUs) because the current types of protocols are not feasible or practical in this environment. Paris sought to determine if quadriceps muscle layer thickness (QMLT) derived by ultrasound was valid by comparing with CT-based measures of muscle tissue.

The study’s preliminary results suggest that QMLT obtained from ultrasound along with additional predictors, including age, BMI, sex, Charlson Comorbidity index, and admission type, were valuable in predicting muscularity in this group of ICU patients.

Naming annual Research Trainee Award winners is at the core of the A.S.P.E.N. mission of improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism.

“This research represents the ability to constantly learn new ways to monitor, treat and understand patients’ clinical nutrition needs, which will ultimately lead to better patient outcomes,” stated Debra BenAvram, CEO of A.S.P.E.N.. “We are honored to be a supporter of Mr. Paris’s research and to have the opportunity to formally recognize his important work.”

To learn more about Mr. Paris and his colleagues’ research, along with all the other presented research at Clinical Nutrition Week 2016, please click here.

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The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit