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Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;31(2):217-23. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to reverse biopsy-proven parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease in adults.

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Department of Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, 305 E Zhongshan Rd, Nanjing 210002, PR China.



Parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD) complicates the treatment of patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS). Some studies have shown omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) have favorable effects in treating PNALD in children. We, therefore, investigate the effects of ω-3 PUFAs supplemented intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) on PNALD in adults.


We performed an open-labeled study of a ω-3 PUFAs based ILE in 15 adults with SBS who developed cholestasis while receiving soybean oil-based ILE. Liver biopsies were performed before and after the initiation of ω-3 PUFAs to confirm the presence and improvement of cholestasis. Blood samples were collected every week for analysis of fatty acid composition and liver function.


12 of the 15 patients had their direct bilirubin normalized within 4 weeks and our data demonstrated a significant decrease in both DB (P ≤ 0.001) and TB (P ≤ 0.001) after 4 weeks compared to baseline. There were ameliorations of liver function and fatty acid patterns in all patients and serial liver biopsy specimens showed progressive histologic improvement.


Parenteral ω-3 PUFAs supplemented fat emulsions are safe and effective in the treatment of PNALD in adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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