Background: The growth of very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants relies, to a large extent, on parenteral nutrition (PN) during the early weeks of life. Despite the parenteral nutrients supply, extrauterine growth restriction remains the main concern for these infants. A parenteral multicomponent lipid emulsion (MLE) might improve growth and neurological outcomes, delivering fats for brain growth that the traditional soybean-based lipid emulsion (SLE) fails to provide. We hypothesize that the use of an MLE in PN may reduce the loss of head circumference (HC) z-score from birth to 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age (PMA) or at discharge compared with the use of an SLE in VLBW infants. Methods: Infants with BW ≤1250 g, without malformations or chromosomal abnormalities, were randomly assigned to receive an MLE or an SLE. The primary outcome was the change in HC z-score (HC Δ z-score) from birth to 36 weeks’ PMA or at discharge. Secondary outcomes included the change in weight and length z-scores, as well as the incidence of late-onset sepsis and PN-associated cholestasis. Results: Of the 128 infants randomized, 51 infants in the MLE group and 50 infants in the SLE group were analyzed. The MLE was significantly associated with a decreased loss in HC and length z-scores from birth to 36 weeks’ PMA or at discharge. Conclusions: This is the first randomized controlled trial providing the evidence that an MLE is associated with improved HC growth in comparison with a pure SLE.
- improvement of head growth circumference
- multicomponent lipid emulsions
- parenteral nutrition–associated cholestasis
- very low-birth-weight infants