Low levels of LCPUFA in Premature Infants Associated with Intravenous Lipids

Low levels of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) docosahexanenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) in premature infants are correlated with an increased risk of developmental, respiratory, and infectious morbidities in premature infants.  A new report suggests that prolonged exposure to intravenous lipids exacerbates these low levels and could contribute to poor neurodevelopmental outcomes (J Pediatr 2013; 162: 56-61).

This study followed 26 extremely low birth weight premature infants with serial blood draws during the first two months of life using a prospective cohort design.  Infants who received more than 28 days of intravenous lipid emulsion had significantly decreased DHA levels compared to infants with shorter duration of parenteral lipid exposure; at 8 weeks, the DHA levels were 2.7 ± 0.6 compared with 4.2 ± 1.9 (all levels reported as g/100 g).  DHA levels at birth were 5.5 ± 1.4.

ARA levels decreased in a similar fashion in both groups, though values were mildly lower in the prolonged lipid group.  At 8 weeks, the ARA values were 9.4 ± 1.6 and 11.5 ± 2.5 respectively.  Thus, with a larger study group, this could be a significant finding as well.

These lower LCPUFA (especially DHA) levels may reflect a suboptimal intravenous lipid emulsion.  Alternatively, the underlying reason for the prolonged lipids, like sepsis and NEC , could result in these lower levels.  Perhaps attention to LCPUFA in parenteral formulations can improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Related blog entry:

4 thoughts on “Low levels of LCPUFA in Premature Infants Associated with Intravenous Lipids

  1. Pingback: Visual Acuity and LCPUFA | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: New lipid emulsions — lacking data to support usage | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: Nutrition Week (Day 2) SMOFlipid | gutsandgrowth

  4. Pingback: Favorable Fish Oil Outcomes in High Risk Preterm Infants | gutsandgrowth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.