Professor Rinaldo Bellomo


Professor Rinaldo Bellomo

Rinaldo Bellomo published in the New England Journal of Medicine for the 18th time

Researchers dream of having their work published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). It is the most widely read, cited, and influential general medical journal in the world, with a whopping Journal Impact Factor of 79.258 - the highest ranking by far for a general medical journal.

Last month, Professor Rinaldo Bellomo was published in the NEJM for the 18th time, as one of the investigators on the TARGET trial.

The paper, ‘Energy-Dense versus Routine Enteral Nutrition in the Critically Ill', looked at whether current practices for tube feeding critically ill patients in intensive care are really ideal, or if increasing the number of calories delivered to patients would improve their chances of survival.

They found that increasing calories made no difference to a patient's likelihood of surviving for 90 days, nor to a number of secondary outcomes, such as the requirement for organ support, overall duration of hospital stay or number of adverse events.

It is what is called a negative result, where the therapy being trialed is found to be no better - or even worse (as in this study, where increasing calories lead to increased regurgitation or vomiting, and greater use of pro-motility drugs) - than the standard treatment or therapy.

Prof Bellomo says that both ‘positive' and ‘negative' research findings should be equally exciting.

"We didn't know which was the better approach - if we did, we wouldn't need to conduct a clinical trial,"  Prof Bellomo says.

"In many cases, current practice has little, no or inconsistent evidence to support it. This research is important for our patients, because it adds to the evidence base that what we are doing currently is the best and safest approach."

Prof Bellomo's high publication rate in highly influential journals has helped make him one of the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers for the last four years in a row - an honour that places him in the top one per cent of researchers in the world in terms of influence and impact.

Read Prof Bellomo's latest NEJM publication.