Prospective evaluation of faecal fatty acid excretion in short bowel syndrome in newborns.

E. Heineman, C.H.C. Dejong, M. Piena-Spoel, G. Liefaard, J.C. Molenaar, D. Tibboel

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Prospective evaluation of faecal fatty acid excretion in short bowel syndrome in newborns.

Heineman E, Dejong CH, Piena-Spoel M, Liefaard G, Molenaar JC, Tibboel D.

Department of Paediatric Surgery, Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Short bowel syndrome (SBS) in the newborn results in limited intestinal absorptive capacity, leading especially to fatty acid (FA) malabsorption. It is unknown whether adaptation occurs in time in FA absorption, and whether this adaptation is chain-length dependent. The aid of the present study was to prospectively evaluate FA absorption and excretion during SBS in the newborn. Twenty-one neonates who underwent small bowel resection (of variable length) for various reasons (necrotizing enterocolitis, intestinal atresia, meconium peritonitis, cloacal extrophy, etc) were studied. Eight neonates had SBS, defined as a small bowel remnant of less than 50% of the original small bowel length related to gestational age. The mean remaining small bowel length in the SBS group was 34% (24% to 42%). The non-SBS control group consisted of 13 neonates who had only minor small bowel resections. The mean remaining bowel length for the non-SBS group was 95% (70% to 100%). The results show that the total fractional excretion of FA (FE-FA) at 2 weeks and 1, 2, 3, and 4 months postsurgery was 51% +/- 37%, 33% +/- 24%, 51% +/- 65%, 53% +/- 27%, and 7% +/- 2% in patients with SBS, versus 12% +/- 8%, 24% +/- 10%, 9% +/- 3%, 8% +/- 3% and 17% +/- 14% in the non-SBS controls, respectively (P < .05 by ANOVA). There appeared to be an amelioration in time in FA absorption, especially in the SBS group, after 3 months. FE-FA was chain-length related, being considerably less for C10 and C12 than for C14 and longer amounts. An amelioration of absorption occurred in the SBS patients, especially with the longer-chain FA. On the basis of the study data, the authors conclude that in the initial adaptation phase shorter chain lengths are better absorbed than longer chain lengths; however, in the latter FA group, substantial adaptation occurs with time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-525
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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