Intravenous lipid emulsions in pediatric patients with intestinal failure

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Purpose of review

Premature babies as well as infants with short bowel syndrome (SBS) and repeated sepsis (catheter or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth related) are at risk of developing CLD. Clinical data in SBS infants focused on intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) as an important factor of CLD.

Recent findings

Compared to the last generation of composite ILE containing fish oil (FO), soybean oil (SO) based ILE, have marked differences in term of oil source, omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) composition, vitamin E (α-tocopherols) and plant sterols contents, that may explain CLD and CLD reversal. Randomized controlled trials and meta-analysis allow the following recommendations.


In pediatric patients with developing or established CLD or IFALD, potential causes should be explored and pure SO ILE should be avoided. A reduction of the ILE dosage and/or the use of the new composite FO based ILE, may be recommended along with the treatment and management of other risk factors. The 10% pure FO ILE should not be used as a sole provision of IV lipids in paediatric patients on total PN but can only serve as a short-term rescue treatment.

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