Purpose of review
Until recently, intravenous lipid emulsions (ILEs) have consisted of soybean oil (SO) only. This review addresses recent developments in the field, including the problem of intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD) that can occur with the use of ILEs in children and adults, and newer ILEs that may minimize and reverse IFALD.
Cholestasis is the primary manifestation of IFALD in premature infants receiving ILEs, whereas in older children and adults, steatosis is predominant. Two alternative ILEs have been extensively investigated for both safety and efficacy. SMOF, an ILE containing medium chain triglyceride, soybean oil, olive oil and fish oil (FO), is now widely used in both children and adults. A newer FO ILE is approved for use in children only. However, in case reports FO ILE has been shown to improve IFALD in adults. A number of new studies suggest that cholestasis from ILEs is dose-related. IFALD does not improve in many patients after transition from SO to SMOF, but partial or complete replacement with FO can halt and reverse IFALD.
Adverse hepatic effects from ILEs are to some extent dose-related. Overfeeding with fat or with carbohydrate, or simply providing excessive calories in general, may be responsible. More research is needed investigating dose-related effects of macronutrients on liver injury.