PRECISe clinical trial

As of November 2020, Maastricht UMC+ has initiated an important international, multicenter clinical trial: the PRECISe trial. This trial, which takes place in four Dutch hospitals and five Belgian hospitals, will investigate the role of protein provision in critically ill patients in the ICU.
PRECISe logo

Nutrition is an important part of treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because patients consume and are in need of a lot of energy during their admission. The aim of adequate nutrition is to ensure our patients maintain their strength and get through their Intensive Care stay as optimal as possible. Intake of an adequate amount of protein is vital here. The breakdown of muscle protein is an important reason why patients weaken considerably during an ICU stay and are at risk of developing the debilitating Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). After ICU discharge, recovery is the next major challenge which many patients struggle with. We hope to help our patients get a head start by diminishing muscle breakdown during the ICU stay itself.

With this study, we want to find out whether giving more protein than usual will help the patient to recover faster by preventing muscle breakdown. The participating patients will be assigned at random into one of two groups:

  1. One group will receive nutrition with the standard amount of protein;
  2. Another group will receive nutrition with a higher amount of protein.

This nutrition will be used during the IC stay. Feeding via a feeding tube is standard care in the ICU and both quantities of protein are already used in daily practice. The treatment is therefore no different from the usual care. The aim of the trial is to assess which of the two types of nutrition is best. 

Follow-up after discharge from the ICU is different than usual. Normally, there is only one check-up with the ICU doctor 3 months after ICU stay. During follow-up in the trial, this will happen three times and the recovery will be tested more extensively than usual.

At the moment, all nine study sites are actively including patients. Together with Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg in Genk, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège, Centre Hospitalier Régional de Liège, Universitair Ziekenhuis in Brussels, AZ Groeninge in Kortrijk, Medisch Spectrum Twente in Enschede, Hospital Gelderse Vallei in Ede en Zuyderland Medical Center in Heerlen, more than 270 patients already have been included and 550 patients will be included in the next year. To follow our recruitment and get more information about the trial, visit our website at

The PRECISe trial is funded by the Belgium-Netherlands Funding of International Trials (BeNeFIT) program. This is an initiative by KCE and ZonMW, which aims to provide funding for non-commercial practice-oriented research that is immediately relevant to patients, caregivers and policymakers in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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