Intravenous Lipid Emulsions and Liver Function in Adult Chronic Intestinal Failure Patients: Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial

Nutrition. 2018 Nov; 55-56:45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2018.03.008.
Klek, S., Szczepanek, K., Scislo, L., Walewska, E., Pietka, M., Pisarska, M., & Pedziwiatr, M.


Aim: Intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) can become a risk factor for intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD). Many ILEs are commercially available, however, a direct comparison of their impact on liver has, to our knowledge, never been performed. The aim of the study was to analyse that clinical problem during long term parenteral nutrition (PN).

Methods: A randomized, controlled clinical trial was performed at the Intestinal Failure Center in Skawina, Poland. Sixty-seven patients (37 F, 30 M, mean age 53.9 years) enrolled in home parenteral nutrition (HPN) due to stable chronic intestinal failure (CIF) were randomized to receive one the following for 12 months: long-chain triglycerides (LCT), medium/long-chain triglycerides, olive oil/LCT (OO/LCT) and a mix of LCT/MCT/OO/fish oil. Clinical evaluation and biochemical tests (total bilirubin, SGOT, SGTP, GGPT, alkaline phosphatase) were performed at enrolment and after 6 and 12 months.

Results: the most common reason for intestinal failure (IF) was short bowel due to mesenteric ischaemia, followed by Crohn's disease, surgical complications and radiation enteritis. PN stabilized liver parameters in all patients. No essential fatty acids deficiency was diagnosed. All four ILEs demonstrated comparable influence on liver in all study periods. The only exception was the decrease in total bilirubin concentration after 12 months (28.1 ± 25.3vs 11.1 ± 4.5, p = 0.0023) and GGTP (222.5 ± 205.8vs 146.6 ± 197.7, p = 0.0079) when OO/LCT was in use.

Conclusions: All four ILEs tested may be safe even during long-term parenteral nutrition. OO/LCT may be more effective than the others, but more studies in the field are needed.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism