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The effects of glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition in premature infants






Jpen. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 20(1): 74-80

The effects of glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition in premature infants

Background: Glutamine (GLN) is the primary fuel for rapidly dividing cells, yet it is not a constituent of parenteral nutritional formulas administered to newborns. The aims of this prospective, randomized, double-blind trial were (1) to confirm the safety of glutamine supplementation for premature infants and (2) to examine the effects of glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition on length of stay, days on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), days on the ventilator, and other clinical outcomes. Methods: Premature infants received either standard or glutamine-supplemented TPN and were monitored throughout length of stay for various health and biochemical indices. The group was examined as a whole (n = 44; birth weight range: 530 to 1250 g) and in two weight subgroups, lt 800 and gtoreq 800 g. Results: Serum ammonia, blood urea nitrogen, and glutamate tended to be higher in the GLN groups, but the levels were well within normal limits. In the lt 800-g cohort (n = 24), glutamine-supplemented infants required fewer days on TPN (13 vs 21 days, p = .02), had a shorter length of time to full feeds (8 vs 14 days, p = .03), and needed less time on the ventilator (38 vs 47 days, p = .04). There was a tendency toward a shorter length of stay in the NICU (73 vs 90 days, NS). These findings were not observed in the infants gtoreq 800 g (n = 20). Conclusions: Glutamine appears to be safe for use in premature infants and seems to be conditionally essential in premature infants with extremely low birth weights. Larger multicenter trials are needed to confirm these observations and further evaluate the efficacy of GLN in these high-risk premature infants.


Accession: 002984932

PMID: 8788268

DOI: 10.1177/014860719602000174



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