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Clin Pharm. 1988 May;7(5):351-66.

Parenteral nutrition in pediatric patients.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Erratum in

  • Clin Pharm 1992 Sep;11(9):750.


Protein, calorie, fluid, fat, and micronutrient requirements of pediatric patients are reviewed, as are methods of nutritional assessment and complications associated with the use of parenteral nutrition in these patients. In general, preterm infants and neonates require greater per-kilogram amounts of protein, calories, fluid, and micronutrients than older children. In addition, preterm infants and neonates have deficiencies in enzymes that metabolize certain amino acids, making otherwise nonessential amino acids essential. These unique protein needs have been addressed in amino acid formulations designed specifically for this group of patients. Supplying the neonate with the calcium and phosphorus needed for bone growth can be difficult because of solubility limitations in parenteral nutrient solutions. The use of intravenous fat emulsion in infants with hyperbilirubinemia or pulmonary complications is controversial. However, only rarely does fat emulsion have to be completely withheld. Complications associated with parenteral nutrition in pediatric patients include infection, metabolic disorders (cholestasis, bone demineralization), and mechanical problems. Cholestasis induced by parenteral nutrition has been shown to be more common in low-birth-weight infants; however, the precise etiology is unknown and may be multifactorial. Basic requirements necessary to promote growth while pediatric patients are receiving parenteral nutrition have been determined. However, current studies are challenging what were thought to be standards of pediatric parenteral nutrition therapy.

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