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Ursodeoxycholic Acid Treatment in Preterm Infants: A Pilot Study for the Prevention of Cholestasis Associated With Total Parenteral Nutrition

Arslanoglu, Sertac*; Moro, Guido E*; Tauschel, Horst-Dietmar; Boehm, Gunther

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: February 2008 - Volume 46 - Issue 2 - p 228–231
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181560524
Short Communications

In a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the efficacy and safety of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) was evaluated in preterm infants, in terms of its potential impact on fat absorption, advancement of enteral feeding, development of cholestasis, growth, nutritional status, and metabolic status. Although fecal fat excretion slightly decreased and achievement of full enteral feeding was earlier in the UDCA group, these differences were not significant. Interestingly, whereas serum γ-glutamyl transferase activity increased during the parenteral nutrition period in the placebo group, we observed a constant and significant decrease in the UDCA group. This observation warrants further investigation to determine the utility of prophylactic UDCA in preventing cholestasis in infants with prolonged parenteral nutrition.

*Center for Infant Nutrition, Department of Neonatology, Macedonio Melloni Hospital, Milan, Italy

Dr Falk Pharma GmbH, Freiburg, Germany

Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Numico Research, Friedrichsdorf, Germany

Received 20 March, 2007

Accepted 15 July, 2007

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sertac Arslanoglu, MD, Center for Infant Nutrition, Department of Neonatology, Macedonio Melloni Hospital, Via Macedonio Melloni 52, 20129, Milan, Italy (e-mail:

Drs Arslanoglu, Moro, and Boehm report no conflicts of interest. Dr Tauschel provided the UCDA via his employer, Dr Falk Pharma GmbH.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.