n-3 fatty acid-enriched parenteral nutrition regimens in elective surgical and ICU patients: a meta-analysis
1 AdRes HE&OR, Piazza Carlo Emanuele II 19, I-10123, Turin, Italy
2 Lung Transplant Program, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine. Department of Internal Medicine, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Klinikstrasse 36, D-35392, Giessen, Germany
3 Internal Medicine, Università La Sapienza, Via del Policlinico, 155, I-00161, Rome, Italy
4 Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, University Dresden, Fetscherstraße 74, D-01307 Dresden, Germany
Critical Care 2012, 16:R184 doi:10.1186/cc11668Published: 4 October 2012
Previous studies and a meta-analysis in surgical patients indicate that supplementing parenteral nutrition regimens with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is associated with improved laboratory and clinical outcomes in the setting of hyper-inflammatory conditions. Refined or synthetic fish oils are commonly used as a source of EPA and DHA. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to evaluate n-3 PUFA-enriched parenteral nutrition regimens in elective surgical and intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
Medline was searched for randomized controlled trials comparing n-3 PUFA-enriched lipid emulsions with standard non-enriched lipid emulsions (i.e. soybean oil, MCT/LCT or olive/soybean oil emulsions) in surgical and ICU patients receiving parenteral nutrition. Extracted data were pooled by means of both random and fixed effects models, and subgroup analyses were carried forward to compare findings in ICU versus non-ICU patients.
A total of 23 studies (n = 1502 patients: n = 762 admitted to the ICU) were included. No statistically significant difference in mortality rate was found between patients receiving n-3 PUFA-enriched lipid emulsions and those receiving standard lipid emulsions (RR= 0.89; 0.59, 1.33), possibly reflecting a relatively low underlying mortality risk. However, n-3 PUFA-enriched emulsions are associated with a statistically and clinically significant reduction in the infection rate (RR =0.61; 0.45, 0.84) and the lengths of stay, both in the ICU (-1.92; -3.27, -0.58) and in hospital overall (-3.29; -5.13, -1.45). Other beneficial effects included reduced markers of inflammation, improved lung gas exchange, liver function, antioxidant status and fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids, and a trend towards less impairment of kidney function.
These results confirm and extend previous findings, indicating that n-3 PUFAs-enriched parenteral nutrition regimens are safe and effective in reducing the infection rate and hospital/ICU stay in surgical and ICU patients.