1 Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark2 unknown
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Rapid transition from total parenteral nutrition (TPN) to enteral feeding is a risk factor for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. We hypothesized that partial enteral nutrition with colostrum, increased proportion of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), or exclusion of lipid in TPN would affect short term NEC sensitivity and liver function. METHODS: Preterm piglets were fed for three days after birth: 1) TPN with a standard lipid emulsion (Nutriflex Lipid Plus, TPN control group, n = 19), 2) PN plus bovine colostrum as partial enteral nutrition (PN/COL, n = 18), 3) TPN with fish oil (FO) lipids (Omegaven, TPN/FO, n = 19), or 4) TPN with no lipid (TPN/NL, n = 22). After TPN, piglets were fed formula for two days before tissue collection. RESULTS: None of the treatments had consistent effect on NEC incidence (∼40-50% across all groups), intestinal morphology and function, relative to TPN. In the liver, there were no signs of steatosis but PN/COL decreased the n-6 PUFA levels, leading to higher n-3/n-6 ratio, GGT activity, and plasma cholesterol and albumin levels, relative to TPN (all p < 0.05). TPN/FO increased the hepatic n-3 levels and n-3/n-6 ratio. TPN/NL treatment led to decreased hepatic n-6 level, n-3/n-6 ratio and bilirubin, albumin and triglycerides, and lowered blood clotting strength (-30%, TPN/NL vs. TPN/COL, p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Partial enteral nutrition with colostrum, increased n-3 PUFAs in TPN, or removal of lipid from the TPN, all affect hepatic lipids and proteins in preterm neonates. These effects do not translate into improved hepatic function or NEC resistance, at least not short term.