Fish oil-based lipid emulsions in the treatment of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease: an ongoing positive experience

Adv Nutr. 2014 Jan 1;5(1):65-70. doi: 10.3945/an.113.004671.


We previously reported the beneficial effect of fish oil-based lipid emulsions (FOLEs) as monotherapy in the treatment of parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD). In this report, we share our ongoing experience at Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas in the use of FOLE in treatment of PNALD as presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology meeting. We describe the findings of a single center, prospective, observational study of infants <6 mo of age with PNALD who received parenteral FOLE as monotherapy. A total of 97 infants received FOLE under the compassionate-use protocol for the treatment of PNALD. Eighty-three (86%) survived with resolution of cholestasis and 14 (14%) died. The median conjugated bilirubin (CB) concentration at the initiation of FOLE therapy was 4.8 mg/dL (range 2.1-26). The median time to resolution of cholestasis was 40 d (range 3-158). Compared with infants with mild cholestasis (CB of 2.1-5 mg/dL at the initiation of FOLE), nonsurvivors were significantly more premature and took longer to resolve their cholestasis. Gestational age at birth correlated inversely with CB at the beginning of FOLE and peak CB. Infants with an initial CB >10 mg/dL had a higher mortality rate than infants with an initial CB <5 mg/dL (35% vs. 6%; P < 0.05). Our experience with the use of FOLE in PNALD continues to be encouraging. Prematurity continues to be a major determinant in mortality and severity of cholestasis. This calls for further controlled studies designed to optimize dose and timing of intervention in the use of FOLE in neonates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic / etiology
  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic / physiopathology
  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic / therapy*
  • Compassionate Use Trials
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Emulsions / adverse effects
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage
  • Fish Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / etiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Total / adverse effects*
  • Phospholipids / adverse effects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Soybean Oil / adverse effects
  • Texas
  • Triglycerides


  • Emulsions
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Fish Oils
  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides
  • fish oil triglycerides
  • soybean oil, phospholipid emulsion
  • Soybean Oil