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September 1958

The Effect of an Intravenous Fat Emulsion on Liver Function

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Veterans' Administration Research Hospital and Northwestern University Medical School.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(3):336-344. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290030036005

Fat emulsions have been investigated extensively in an effort to find a safe source of calories for malnourished patients being maintained on parenteral feeding for prolonged periods. However, little attention has been paid to the effect of these emulsions on liver function. In view of the major role of the liver in intermediary fat metabolism and the frequent occurrence of accumulation of fat within the hepatic parenchyma, it seemed of interest to investigate the effects of repeated infusions of fat on the functions and structure of the liver.

Methods  Daily infusions of 600 ml. of a fat emulsion were given to 20 hospitalized male patients. Ten patients had normal and 10 had abnormal liver function prior to the infusions, as judged by sulfobromophthalein U. S. P. (Bromsulphalein) retention. The patients were selected on the basis of their cooperativeness and their availability for biopsies and follow-up studies.The fat emulsion (Lipomul-I.

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