Background: Enteral immunonutrition (EIN) has been extensively applied in cancer patients, however its role in esophageal cancer (EC) patients receiving esophagectomy remains unclear. We performed this network meta-analysis to investigate the impact of EIN on patients undergoing surgery for EC and further determine the optimal time of applying EIN.
Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledgement Infrastructure (CNKI) to identify eligible studies. Categorical data was expressed as the odds ratio with 95% confidence interval (CI), and continuous data was expressed as mean difference (MD) with 95% CI. Pair-wise and network meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of EIN on clinical outcomes using RevMan 5.3 and ADDIS V.1.16.8 softwares. The surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) was calculated to rank all nutritional regimes.
Results: Total 14 studies involving 1071 patients were included. Pair-wise meta-analysis indicated no difference between EIN regardless of the application time and standard EN (SEN), however subgroup analyses found that postoperative EIN was associated with decreased incidence of total infectious complications (OR=0.47; 95%CI=0.26 to 0.84; p=0.01) and pneumonia (OR=0.47; 95%CI=0.25 to 0.90; p=0.02) and shortened LOH (MD=-1.01; 95%CI=-1.44 to -0.57; p<0.001) compared to SEN, which were all supported by network meta-analyses. Ranking probability analysis further indicated that postoperative EIN has the highest probability of being the optimal option in terms of these three outcomes.
Conclusions: Postoperative EIN should be preferentially utilized in EC patients undergoing esophagectomy because it has optimal potential of decreasing the risk of total infectious complications and pneumonia and shortening LOH.
OSF registration number: 10.17605/OSF.IO/KJ9UY.