The role of an intravenous fat emulsion composed of fish oil in a parenteral nutrition-dependent patient with hypertriglyceridemia.


Hypertriglyceridemia is a common complication in patients receiving parenteral nutrition (PN). Management typically involves withholding the IV fat emulsion (IVFE) until serum triglyceride levels normalize. In some instances, this practice may predispose patients to the development of essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAD) unless alternative therapies such as oral or topical oils are used. This is especially true in patients unable to tolerate enteral intake. We describe the management of hypertriglyceridemia in a 12-year-old boy dependent on PN who developed EFAD due to prolonged use of fat-free PN. His course was further complicated by PN-associated liver disease. Treatment involved the use of an IVFE derived from fish oils. Within 3 weeks, there was clinical improvement in EFAD and hypertriglyceridemia. The patient's triene:tetraene ratio decreased from 0.207 to 0.044 (normal: 0.013-0.05). Similarly, his serum triglyceride levels decreased from 628 mg/dL to 183 mg/dL (normal: <200 mg/dL). After 2 months of treatment, he was successfully transitioned to enteral feedings; hepatic function normalized, as did the essential fatty acid profile and serum triglycerides levels. This suggests that using fish-oil-based IVFE may be an effective alternative to conventional IVFE in PN-dependent patients whose clinical course is complicated by hypertriglyceridemia.


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@article{Gura2007TheRO, title={The role of an intravenous fat emulsion composed of fish oil in a parenteral nutrition-dependent patient with hypertriglyceridemia.}, author={Kathleen M. Gura and Robbert A M Strijbosch and Sarah E. Arnold and Christopher McPherson and Mark Puder}, journal={Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition}, year={2007}, volume={22 6}, pages={664-72} }