Modification of serum fatty acids in preterm infants by parenteral lipids and enteral docosahexaenoic acid/arachidonic acid: A secondary analysis of the Mega Donna Mega trial

Ulrika Sjöbom, Mats X. Andersson, Aldina Pivodic, Anna My Lund, Mireille Vanpee, Ingrid Hansen-Pupp, David Ley, Dirk Wackernagel, Karin Sävman, Lois E.H. Smith, Chatarina Löfqvist, Ann Hellström, Anders K. Nilsson

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Background & aim: Preterm infants risk deficits of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) that may contribute to morbidities and hamper neurodevelopment. We aimed to determine longitudinal serum fatty acid profiles in preterm infants and how the profiles are affected by enteral and parenteral lipid sources. Methods: Cohort study analyzing fatty acid data from the Mega Donna Mega study, a randomized control trial with infants born <28 weeks of gestation (n = 204) receiving standard nutrition or daily enteral lipid supplementation with arachidonic acid (AA):docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (100:50 mg/kg/day). Infants received an intravenous lipid emulsion containing olive oil:soybean oil (4:1). Infants were followed from birth to postmenstrual age 40 weeks. Levels of 31 different fatty acids from serum phospholipids were determined by GC–MS and reported in relative (mol%) and absolute concentration (μmol l−1) units. Results: Higher parenteral lipid administration resulted in lower serum proportion of AA and DHA relative to other fatty acids during the first 13 weeks of life (p < 0.001 for the 25th vs the 75th percentile). The enteral AA:DHA supplement increased the target fatty acids with little impact on other fatty acids. The absolute concentration of total phospholipid fatty acids changed rapidly in the first weeks of life, peaking at day 3, median (Q1-Q3) 4452 (3645–5466) μmol l−1, and was positively correlated to the intake of parenteral lipids. Overall, infants displayed common fatty acid trajectories over the study period. However, remarkable differences in fatty acid patterns were observed depending on whether levels were expressed in relative or absolute units. For example, the relative levels of many LCPUFAs, including DHA and AA, declined rapidly after birth while their absolute concentrations increased in the first week of life. For DHA, absolute levels were significantly higher compared to cord blood from day 1 until postnatal week 16 (p < 0.001). For AA, absolute postnatal levels were lower compared to cord blood from week 4 throughout the study period (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our data show that parenteral lipids aggravate the postnatal loss of LCPUFAs seen in preterm infants and that serum AA available for accretion is below that in utero. Further research is needed to establish optimal postnatal fatty acid supplementation and profiles in extremely preterm infants to promote development and long-term health. Clinical trial registry:, identifier: NCT03201588.

Sidor (från-till)962-971
Antal sidor10
TidskriftClinical Nutrition
StatusPublished - 2023

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Pediatrik


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