Gallstone formation is a common problem in neonates on prolonged courses of total parenteral nutrition (TPN). The authors hypothesized that the use of cholecystokinin-octapeptide (CCK), given at the time of TPN administration, would prevent gallstone formation in a high-risk group of patients with TPN. A prospective, randomized, blinded, controlled trial of neonates who were on a prolonged course of TPN for prematurity (25 infants), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC, 8 infants), or abdominal surgery (5 infants) were selected randomly to receive CCK vs placebo. Patients remained on the study until taking more than 50% of energy enterally. Children were recalled between 2 and 4 years after completing TPN for ultrasonographic examination of their hepatobiliary tree. Neonates (38 studied) required a mean (±SD) of 33 ± 16 days of TPN. Cholelithiasis was detected in 4 (10%) infants. Cholecystokinin-octapeptide was not effective in preventing the formation of gallstones (3 stones in infants receiving CCK, P =. 51). Diagnosis (P =. 56), birth weight (P =. 54), gestational age (P =. 18), and duration of TPN (P =. 53) did not correlate with gallstone formation. To address the management of these stones, all 4 were placed on a prolonged course of ursodeoxycholic acid (mean duration, 11.6 ± 5.4 months). Two additional infants (not in the original study) with TPN-associated gallstone disease were also given a trial of ursodeoxycholic acid. Serial ultrasounds were performed every 6 months. No patient achieved any degree of stone dissolution. One patient underwent cholecystectomy for symptomatology. Total parenteral nutrition-associated gallstones were detected in 10% of children, and most are nonsymptomatic. Cholecystokinin-octapeptide prophylaxis was not effective in preventing TPN-associated gallstones. In addition, the use of ursodeoxycholic acid did not dissolve gallstones, once identified. Future methods will be needed to address the prevention and treatment of these stones.
- Total parenteral nutrition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health