OBJECTIVE Determine whether there are essential fatty acid abnormalities in arachidonic (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived tube-fed individuals. DESIGN AND METHODS Plasma fatty acid concentrations were measured in eight tube-fed adults with profound developmental disabilities. RESULTS Mean plasma AA, DPAn-6, stearic, oleic, Mead, palmitoleic, and vaccenic acid concentrations were elevated but DHA was normal. Numerous fatty acid ratios were also elevated. CONCLUSIONS In this context, significant synthesis of both AA and DHA was apparent. However, abnormal fatty acid profiles were common.