Results of a meta-analysis of data from clinical studies comparing patient outcomes and hospital length of stay (LOS) in surgical patients receiving fish oil (FO)–containing i.v. fat emulsions (IVFEs) versus non–FO-containing IVFEs are presented.Methods
Computerized searches of the MEDLINE, Embase, and Coch rane CENTRAL databases were performed in August 2014 to identify English-language articles on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing FO-containing and non–FO-containing IVFEs in adult surgical patients receiving parenteral nutrition. Selected articles were analyzed for methodological and publication bias and study heterogeneity (I2 statistic).Results
Data from 19 RCTs (total n = 1,167) were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with use of non–FO-containing IVFEs (products based in soybean oil [SO], medium-chain triglycerides, or olive oil), use of FO-containing IVFEs was associated with reduced infectious morbidity (odds ratio [OR], 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30–0.65; p < 0.0001; I2 = 0%); the effect size was greatest for FO-containing versus SO-based IVFEs. Relative to use of SO-based IVFEs, use of FO-containing IVFEs was associated with a significant reduction in hospital LOS (weighted mean difference, −2.70 days; 95% CI, −3.60 to −1.79 days; p < 0.00001; I2 = 0%).Conclusion
The results of the meta-analysis indicated that FO-containing IVFEs could improve infectious morbidity and LOS. The overall effect of reducing infectious morbidity and LOS was found to be the greatest in comparison with the SO-based IVFEs.