Reversal of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease in two infants with short bowel syndrome using parenteral fish oil: implications for future management

Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):e197-201. doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-2662.


Here we report the reversal of cholestasis in 2 infants with intestinal failure and parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease. Treatment involved the substitution of a conventional intravenous fat emulsion with one containing primarily omega-3 fatty acids. Biochemical tests of liver function improved significantly. One child was removed from the liver transplantation list because of improved hepatic function, and the second child had complete resolution of cholestasis while solely on parenteral nutrition. This suggests that fat emulsions made from fish oils may be an effective means of treating and preventing this often-fatal condition. A randomized, controlled trial is necessary to study the efficacy of this new approach to parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cholestasis / epidemiology
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Cholestasis / therapy*
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / chemistry
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Fish Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Intestinal Volvulus / surgery
  • Male
  • Parenteral Nutrition / adverse effects*
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / blood
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / therapy*


  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Fish Oils
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Bilirubin