Purpose of review: In neonatal intensive care units, the interest and scope for research in the field of intravenous lipids has significantly widened in recent years. This brief review covers the advances in this field in the last 2 years.
Recent findings: These include a significant amount of research in evaluating safety and efficacy of novel lipid emulsions that include olive oil or fish oil. Short-term studies involving novel lipid emulsions have documented safety and benefits in terms of reduced inflammation and lipid peroxidation. Fish oil-based lipid emulsions have also been used to prevent and treat parenteral nutrition-induced cholestasis. Other areas of progress include stability studies of all-in-one parenteral nutrition mixtures including lipid emulsions for neonates.
Summary: Since the first soybean oil-based lipid emulsions were introduced 50 years ago, progress has been made in understanding the composition, dose and clinical effects of parenteral lipids in neonatal patients. However there is a paucity of data in terms of definitive head-to-head trials of different novel lipid emulsions evaluating short-term as well as long-term clinically important outcomes including neurodevelopment. Future research is required to determine long-term benefits of novel lipid emulsions for neurological outcome and effects on the immune system.