Low- versus High-Dose and Early versus Late Parenteral Amino-Acid Administration in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Infants: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Leenders et al, Neonatology 2018


Objectives: Providing parenteral amino acids to very-low-birth-weight infants during the first weeks of life is critical for adequate growth and neurodevelopment. However, there is no consensus about what dose is appropriate or when to initiate supplementation. As a result, daily practice varies among neonatal intensive care units. The objective of our study was to determine the effects of early parenteral amino-acid supplementation (within 24 h of birth) versus later initiation and high dose (>3.0 g/kg/day) versus a lower dose on growth and morbidities. 

Conclusions: Administering a high dose (>3.0 g/kg/day) or an early dose (≤24 h) of parenteral amino acids is safe and well tolerated but does not offer significant benefits on growth. Further large-scale randomized controlled trials in preterm infants are needed to study the effects of early and high-dose amino acids on growth and morbidity more consistently and extensively.