Amino acid infusions in umbilical artery catheters enhance protein administration in infants born at extremely low gestational age

Acta Paediatr. 2022 Mar;111(3):536-545. doi: 10.1111/apa.16196. Epub 2021 Dec 6.


Aim: It is challenging to provide extremely low gestational age neonates (ELGANs) with adequate protein supply. This study aimed to investigate whether amino acid (AA) infusion in the umbilical artery catheter (UAC) in ELGANs is safe and enhances protein supply and growth.

Method: A before and after study including infants born <27 weeks, treated in Uppsala, Sweden, during 2004-2007, compared those receiving normal saline/10% dextrose in water with those receiving AA infusion in the UAC. Data were retrieved from the Extremely Preterm Infants in Sweden Study, hospital records and the Swedish Neonatal Quality Register. Group comparisons, univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted.

Results: AA group (n = 41, females 39%) received on average approximately 0.3 g/kg/day more protein during the first postnatal week, compared to control group (n = 30, females 40%) (unstandardised coefficient (B) 0.26, p .001) but no difference was noted during 8-28 postnatal days. The type of infusion was not associated with growth variables. The incidence of neonatal morbidities and UAC-related thrombosis did not differ between the groups.

Conclusion: AA infusions in the UACs in ELGANs is safe and enhances protein supply during the first postnatal week. However, this practice is not associated with growth during the first 28 postnatal days.

Keywords: amino acids; extremely low gestational age; growth; protein intake; umbilical artery catheter.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids*
  • Catheters
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Umbilical Arteries*


  • Amino Acids