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March 1952


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, the Medical and Surgical Clinics, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and the Surgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(3):353-357. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240030002001

A MAJOR problem in parenteral feeding is associated with the need for a nonsclerosing preparation for intravenous administration which contains a large supply of calories in a small volume of fluid. Fat emulsions appear to offer a solution to this problem. Fat particles do not exert an osmotic effect; accordingly, fat may be injected in high concentrations without damage to veins and in a relatively small fluid volume. Unlike dextrose and amino acids, fat is not excreted in the urine in significant amounts.

Among the earliest clinical studies involving the intravenous administration of fat emulsions for caloric purposes was one reported by Yamakawa in Japan in 1920.1 Later, in this country, Holt, Tidwell, and Scott2 studied the effect of intravenous fat administration in experimental animals and in children.

In the interim, although fat emulsions for intravenous administration still have not become available commercially, their use in man is