No one doubts that good nutrition is an important component of neonatal intensive care, nor that this can only be accomplished by the use of intravenous fat. With regard to the effects of nutrition on bronchopulmonary dysplasia, however, we are facing a dilemma. On the one hand there is the suggestion that inadequate nutrition increases the severity of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and on the other that the use of intravenous fat predisposes to it. In an attempt to narrow the area of uncertainty we randomly allocated 129 infants of less than 1750 g birth weight to receive either early or late lipid containing parenteral nutrition. The median duration of ventilation support in the 'early' group was 8.5 days and in the 'late' group eight days; this was not significantly different.
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