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JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1991 Nov-Dec;15(6):608-11.

The solubility of calcium and phosphorus in neonatal total parenteral nutrition solutions.

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  • 1Nutrition Support Team, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville, North Carolina.


Precipitation of calcium phosphate in neonatal total parenteral nutrition (TPN) solutions remains a significant problem. Whereas numerous studies have attempted to establish guidelines for maximum concentrations of various combinations that can be mixed, differences in study design and reliance upon subjective visual assessment severely limit their applicability. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively determine calcium and phosphate compatibility in commonly used neonatal TPN solutions containing a final concentration of either 1 or 2% amino acids. The final dextrose concentration was 10%. Electrolytes, heparin, and pediatric vitamins and trace minerals were also added. Calcium gluconate (10%) and potassium phosphate (mono and dibasic) were added by calibrated micropipetors. Calcium concentrations ranged from 5 to 60 mEq/L and phosphate from 5 to 40 mM/L with a minimum of 84 combinations tested for each amino acid concentration. Calcium concentrations were measured in duplicate for each tested combination. Control solutions containing calcium but no phosphate were included to validate the assay methodology. All samples were stored at room temperature for 23.5 hours and then placed in a water bath at 37 degrees C for 30 minutes to simulate incubator conditions encountered during TPN infusion. Calcium determinations were then repeated and precipitation was judged to have occurred whenever calcium concentrations fell below 90% of the initial measured values. These data allowed plotting a calcium and phosphorus reference curve for TPN solutions containing 1 and 2% amino acids based on quantitative assessment. These reference curves should allow pharmacists to avoid compounding TPN solutions that will precipitate, thus saving considerable cost to the pharmacy and preventing complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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