Tolerance of fat emulsions in very low birthweight neonates: effect of birthweight on plasma lipid concentrations

Am J Perinatol. 1990 Apr;7(2):114-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-999459.


Plasma concentrations of various lipid fractions (total lipids, free glycerol, true triglycerides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol) were studied in 20 normally grown neonates ranging in birthweight from 820 to 1500 gm and in gestational age from 28 to 34 weeks. They were subdivided into three weight categories: 750 to 999, 1000 to 1249, and 1250 to 1500 gm. A lipid emulsion was infused at a constant rate over 24 hours, beginning with an hourly infusion rate of 0.04 gm/kg and increasing each day by 0.04 gm/kg up to a maximum of 0.16 gm/kg. Neonates who weighed less than 1000 gm had higher mean plasma concentrations of total lipids and free glycerol at hourly infusion rates of 0.08 and 0.16 and of triglycerides and free fatty acids at hourly infusion rate of 0.16 gm/kg than their heavier peers. These data suggest that extreme caution be used when administering parenteral fat emulsions to neonates who weigh less than 1000 gm and that we need to monitor plasma closely for signs of hyperlipemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Female
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / metabolism*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Glycerol