Complications of home parenteral nutrition

Clin Pharm. 1992 Jun;11(6):543-8.


The complications associated with home parenteral nutrition (HPN) and their relationship to length of therapy were studied. The medical records of 56 patients treated with HPN (age range, 6 months to 82 years) were retrospectively reviewed to study complications associated with HPN. Of the 56 study patients, 30 (53.6%) had complications related to HPN, 18 (32.1%) had complications not related to HPN, and 8 (14.3%) had no complications. Of the 365 total complications noted, 125 (34.2%) were related to HPN. The mean +/- S.D. interval between initiation of HPN and occurrence of a complication was 1.25 +/- 1.73 years (mean +/- S.D.). Patients were more likely to have fluid or electrolyte complications or glucose intolerance in the first year of therapy and catheter-related complications later in the course of treatment. The first episode of septicemia occurred 2.1 +/- 1.8 years (mean +/- S.D.) after the initiation of HPN. The risk of developing catheter-related septicemia was higher for patients on long-term HPN therapy and for young patients. Patients receiving HPN should be carefully monitored for complications such as fluid and electrolyte abnormalities and glucose intolerance, which commonly occur early in the course of therapy; later complications of HPN include catheter-related infection, thrombosis, and breakage or dislodgement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Home / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / etiology