Navigation Links
First time research on long-term consequences of intravenous nutrition on children's health

Children with serious intestinal problems have to be fed intravenously. There moreover, exist systems that enable intravenous feeding to be carried out at home. Mr Iaki Irastorza, paediatrician at the Cruces hospital in Bilbao, spent some 15 years analysing how serious intestinal problems in children were treated at the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London. With the gathered data he has presented a highly novel PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country.

No work is known in the literature to date which provides a long-term and generalised evaluation of the health of children fed intravenously in their own home. There have been, for example, articles that have made mention of a concrete case of a child who had received such treatment and had suffered a pulmonary thromboembolism but there has not been any work investigating the relationship between the treatment and this illness. These are some of the basic tenets of the PhD thesis of Mr Irastorza, entitled Domiciliary parenteral nutrition at paediatric age: long-term prognostic factors.

Warfarin appears to combat sudden death

Some children have to be fed intravenously, given that they have intestinal problems that impede digestion. These problems can be of three kinds: having undergone an operation for a birth malformation and thus having an intestine that is too small (the most common case); or the intestine is incapable of absorbing foods; or the intestine does not move suitably in digestion. Mr Irastorza investigated 64 children who, due to having one of these three problems, were being fed at home intravenously. 39% of these developed pulmonary thromboembolism, confirming that there exists a relation between this problem and the treatment.

Mr Irastorza also confirmed that warfarin, and anticoagulants in general, are effective in avoiding sudden death caused by thromboembolism. The 64 children were tested for thromboembolism on initiating the research and those who tested positive were given warfarin-based treatment. None of these children under treatment suffered sudden death. Nevertheless, 13% of the children who did not receive warfarin died a sudden death. Mr Irastorza believes that these children also had thromboembolism, but had not been detected.

Giving the lie to certain suppositions

For his thesis Mr Irastorza also investigated a number of beliefs about the health of children with serious intestinal problems and who are fed intravenously. He came to the conclusion that these beliefs are quite wrong.

To start with, as one of these beliefs held that these children do not have suitable growth, he analysed 18 children who had been more than five years with parenteral nutrition. Mr Irastorza observed that 40% of these enjoyed good scores as regards weight, height and bone mineral density. Nevertheless, he also saw that 50% of the children analysed were especially small for their age (below p3). He concluded that having an intestine with problems in absorbing food (enteropathy) is the principal factor of risk for height, weight and bone mineralisation. In any case, Mr Irastorza managed to prove that many of the children fed intravenously had grown without any problems, thus contradicting the aforementioned belief.

Apart from this, Mr Irastorza has totally refuted another belief that intravenous feeding is toxic for the liver, confirming in fact that the treatment had improved greatly over the past few years. He analysed 32 patients who had begun intravenous feeding at a neonatal stage, and only 4.5% of these developed hepatic cirrhosis. Nevertheless, the mortality rate was very high amongst those who had, in fact, suffered from this illness; of those who developed serious hepatic dysfunction between three and six months after starting treatment, 75% died victims of hepatic cirrhosis.

The system in Cruces Hospital

Based on the positive part of the conclusions of this innovative research and so that children with serious intestinal problems might have a more normal life, the system of domiciliary parenteral nutrition was adopted last year at Cruces hospital. Cruces has been pioneer in the use of this technique, both in the Basque Autonomous Community and in the Spanish State, thanks to Mr Irastorza's research work.


Contact: Amaia Portugal
Elhuyar Fundazioa

Related biology news :

1. Which came first, the moth or the cactus?
2. First all-African GM crop is resistant to maize streak virus
3. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
4. CU-Boulder team discovers first ancient manioc fields in Americas
5. First finding of a metabolite in 1 sex only
6. First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
7. First individual genome sequence published
8. U of M begins nations first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
9. UNH becomes first university in nation to use landfill gas as primary energy source
10. Scientists in first global study of poison gas in the atmosphere
11. Weight gain between first and second pregnancies associated with increased odds of male second child
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds Biometrics Market ... 2021 as well as Emerging Biometrics ... reports to its collection of IT ... . --> ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and ... captured during interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments ... of their established wearable solutions for eye tracking and ... behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference in New York on ... Dr. Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. ... communication and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive ... Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing ... this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 ... (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously ... November 23, 2015, which will result in the ... effect to the issuance of such shares, there ...
Breaking Biology Technology: