Article Text

G181(P) Long term parental supplementation of vitamin A in preterm neonates: Is it time for a change?
  1. H Ord,
  2. C Harper,
  3. F Pearson,
  4. L Marino,
  5. A Saha,
  6. A Batra
  1. Paediatrics, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK


Background Vitamin A is known to be an important micronutrient for immune competence, retinal cell and lung development. Preterm infants are recognised as having reduced Vitamin A stores and therefore being at greater risk of deficiency and its consequences.

Aims To assess adequacy of vitamin A supplementation via parenteral nutrition (PN) for preterm infants.

Methods A retrospective audit of all pre term infants children receiving PN for greater than 28 days, between January 2009 and December 2013 was performed. Serum concentration of vitamin A at weeks 4–6 and at 90 days were recorded. Vitamin A deficiency was defined as serum concentration below 200 mg/L (0.7 mmol/L) and severe deficiency was defined as below 100 mg/ L (0.35 mmol/L).

Results Vitamin A deficiency was seen in 74% n=32 infants. Infants with low vitamin A had a median gestation age of 26 weeks whereas with normal Vitamin A levels were 30.5 weeks. Most infants (n=27, 84.4%)£1500 gms were deficient in Vitamin A and of these more than half (n=15) had severe deficiency. In comparison to these, infants with birth weight >1500 gms had low vitamin A levels in 5 cases (45%) and none had severe deficiency.

Conclusion This study has added further weight to evidence that preterm infants at the extreme ends of prematurity are at greatest risk of Vitamin A deficiency, despite adequate parenteral supplementation. It suggests the current recommended vitamin A dose, is inadequate and should be supplemented with oral or intramuscular Vitamin A.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.