Thirty nine very low birthweight neonates (with a birth weight of 820 to 1500 g and gestation of 27 to 34 weeks) who required total parenteral nutrition were randomly assigned to one of three regimens of administration of fat emulsion for a period of eight days. Groups 1 and 2 received the emulsion at a constant rate over 24 and 16 hours, respectively, beginning with a daily dosage of 1 g/kg and increasing daily by 1 g/kg to a maximum of 4 g/kg. Group 3 received the emulsion at a constant rate of 4 g/kg a day over 24 hours. Plasma concentrations of free fatty acids and serum concentrations of total bilirubin, apparent unbound bilirubin, and albumin were measured at regular intervals. Effects of the three regimens on serum bilirubin measurements were determined. The regimen of fat infusion and rate of infusion seemed to have no effect on serum concentrations of total and apparent unbound bilirubin, although there was a trend towards greater variability in apparent unbound concentrations with the intermittent regimen.
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