Nutritional Evaluation and Optimisation in Neonates: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial of amino acid regimen and intravenous lipid composition in preterm parenteral nutrition1,2

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Parenteral nutrition is central to the care of very immature infants. Current international recommendations favor higher amino acid intakes and fish oil-containing lipid emulsions.


The aim of this trial was to compare 1) the effects of high [immediate recommended daily intake (Imm-RDI)] and low [incremental introduction of amino acids (Inc-AAs)] parenteral amino acid delivery within 24 h of birth on body composition and 2) the effect of a multicomponent lipid emulsion containing 30% soybean oil, 30% medium-chain triglycerides, 25% olive oil, and 15% fish oil (SMOF) with that of soybean oil (SO)-based lipid emulsion on intrahepatocellular lipid (IHCL) content.


We conducted a 2-by-2 factorial, double-blind, multicenter randomized controlled trial.


We randomly assigned 168 infants born at <31 wk of gestation. We evaluated outcomes at term in 133 infants. There were no significant differences between Imm-RDI and Inc-AA groups for nonadipose mass [adjusted mean difference: 1.0 g (95% CI: -108, 111 g; P = 0.98)] or between SMOF and SO groups for IHCL [adjusted mean SMOF:SO ratio: 1.1 (95% CI: 0.8, 1.6; P = 0.58]. SMOF does not affect IHCL content. There was a significant interaction (P = 0.05) between the 2 interventions for nonadipose mass. There were no significant interactions between group differences for either primary outcome measure after adjusting for additional confounders. Imm-RDI infants were more likely than Inc-AA infants to have blood urea nitrogen concentrations >7 mmol/L or >10 mmol/L, respectively (75% compared with 49%, P < 0.01; 49% compared with 18%, P < 0.01). Head circumference at term was smaller in the Imm-RDI group [mean difference: -0.8 cm (95% CI: -1.5, -0.1 cm; P = 0.02)]. There were no significant differences in any prespecified secondary outcomes, including adiposity, liver function tests, incidence of conjugated hyperbilirubinemia, weight, length, mortality, and brain volumes.


Imm-RDI of parenteral amino acids does not benefit body composition or growth to term and may be harmful. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN29665319 and at as EudraCT 2009–016731–34.

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