Studies on the lipid emulsion for total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for the premature human infant are limited. We investigated the effects of modifying the fatty acid composition of TPN on the growth and development of the preterm piglet.
Piglets delivered by Caesarean section on day 112 of gestation (term = 115 days) received an enteral diet (E: n=6) or TPN solution plus Intralipid (54% 18:2, 25% 18:1; I: n=6) or ClinOleic (17% 18:2, 65% 18:1; C: n=6) for 7 days, after which they were humanely slaughtered to enable tissue sampling. Hepatic lipid content was measured gravimetrically, following a modified Folch extraction. Glycogen content was determined by colorimetric analysis of free glucose and hydrolysed glucose. Data was analysed using General Linear Model, ANOVA; values are presented as mean±SEM.
Body weight was similar between groups at the start of the study. Growth rate was lowest (P<0.05) in C piglets (E: 59±6; I: 43±6; C: 19±7 g/d). Liver weight as a percentage of body weight (E: 3.1±0.3; I: 4.1±0.3; C: 4.2±0.3 %) and hepatic lipid content (E: 3.4±0.3; I: 6.20±0.57; C: 6.73±1.44 %/g tissue) were increased (P<0.05) in both C and I piglets but hepatic glycogen was similar between groups (E: 19.1±6.6; I: 25.8±9.9; C: 31.8±7.5 mM).
In conclusion, the growth performance of the piglet was influenced by the fatty acid composition of the lipid emulsion used during TPN. Increasing Oleic and reducing Linoleic acid appeared to have a deleterious affect on neonatal growth rate. The use of TPN resulted in an enlarged liver, which was likely to be due to the accumulation of fat.
The study was part of PERILIP, supported by the EU (QLK1-2001-00138).