A new chronic treatment for inherited disorders of long-chain fatty acid oxidation involves administering up to one-third of dietary calories as triheptanoin, a medium-odd-chain triglyceride (Roe CR, Sweetman L, Roe DS, David F, and Brunengraber H. J Clin Invest 110: 259-269, 2002). Heptanoate and C(5)-ketone bodies derived from its partial oxidation in liver are precursors of anaplerotic propionyl-CoA in peripheral tissues. It was hypothesized that increasing anaplerosis in peripheral tissues would boost energy production. In the present study, we tested the potential of a triheptanoin emulsion as an intravenous nutrient. Normal rats were infused with triheptanoin intravenously or intraduodenally at up to 40% of caloric requirement. The blood concentration ratio (heptanoate/C(5)-ketone bodies) was high with intravenous and low with intraduodenal triheptanoin infusion. During intravenous infusion of triheptanoin, lipolysis was stimulated but appeared compensated by fatty acid reesterification. During intraduodenal infusion of triheptanoin, lipolysis was not stimulated. Our data support the hypothesis that intravenous triheptanoin could be used to treat decompensated patients with long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders.