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Annals of Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181b36657
Original Articles

Parenteral Fish Oil Improves Outcomes in Patients With Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Liver Injury

Puder, Mark MD, PhD*; Valim, Clarissa MD, ScD*; Meisel, Jonathan A. MD*; Le, Hau D. MD*; de Meijer, Vincent E. MD, MSc*; Robinson, Elizabeth M. BA*; Zhou, Jing MSc†; Duggan, Christopher MD, PhD‡; Gura, Kathleen M. PharmD§

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Abstract

Objective: The objective was to determine the safety and efficacy of a fish oil-based intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) in the treatment of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD).

Summary and Background Data: PNALD can be a lethal complication in children with short bowel syndrome (SBS). ILE based on soybean oil administered with parenteral nutrition (PN) may contribute to its etiology.

Methods: We performed an open-labeled trial of a fish oil-based ILE in 42 infants with SBS who developed cholestasis (serum direct bilirubin >2 mg/dL) while receiving soybean oil-based ILE. Safety and efficacy outcomes were compared with those from a contemporary cohort of 49 infants with SBS and cholestasis whose PN course included soybean ILE only. The primary efficacy end-point was time to reversal of cholestasis (direct bilirubin ≤2 mg/dL).

Results: Three deaths and 1 liver transplantation occurred in the fish oil cohort, compared with 12 deaths and 6 transplants in the soybean oil cohort (P = 0.005). Among survivors not transplanted during PN, cholestasis reversed while receiving PN in 19 of 38 patients in the fish oil cohort versus 2 of 36 patients in the soybean oil cohort. Based on Cox models, subjects receiving fish oil-based ILE experienced reversal of cholestasis 6 times faster (95% CI: 2.0–37.3) than those receiving soybean oil-based ILE. The provision of fish oil-based ILE was not associated with hypertriglyceridemia, coagulopathy, or essential fatty acid deficiency. Moreover, hypertriglyceridemic events and abnormal international normalized ratio levels were more common among controls.

Conclusions: Fish oil-based ILE is safe, may be effective in treating PNALD, and may reduce mortality and organ transplantation rates in children with SBS.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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