Abstract Aim: Conventional soybean lipid emulsions contain no docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or arachidonic acid (AA). We investigated the relationship between blood DHA and AA status in 27 very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants with or without parenteral lipid emulsion. Methods:
Sixteen infants received parenteral lipid emulsion, and 11 infants were control group. The fatty acid composition of the erythrocyte membrane was analysed at birth and at 2 weeks of age. Results: No significant difference in AA levels was observed in the lipid emulsion
group between the two time points, whereas the AA levels at 2 weeks were significantly lower than at birth in the control group. The DHA levels in both groups at 2 weeks were significantly lower than at birth, but no group differences were observed at both time points. Conclusion:
The use of parenteral soybean oil lipid emulsions in VLBW infants in the postnatal period may prevent the decline in the AA level but does not appear to influence the DHA level.