Parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis in neonates: Multivariate analysis of the potential protective effect of taurine

Ariel U. Spencer, Sunkyung Yu, Thomas F. Tracy, Moustafa M. Aouthmany, Adolfo Llanos, Morton B. Brown, Marilyn Brown, Robert J. Shulman, Ronald B. Hirschl, Patricia A. DeRusso, Jean Cox, Jacqueline Dahlgren, Peter J. Strouse, Jonathan I. Groner, Daniel H. Teitelbaum

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72 Scopus citations


Background: Neonates receiving parenteral nutrition (PN) are at risk for PN-associated cholestasis (PNAC); however, no preventive factors for PNAC have been clearly identified. Despite reports suggesting that taurine may prevent PNAC in neonates, such an effect of taurine has not yet been definitively demonstrated. We determined whether taurine supplementation reduces the incidence of PNAC in premature or critically ill neonates. Methods: This study was part of a prospective, randomized, multi-institutional trial designed to assess cholecystokinin vs placebo as a potential preventive therapy of PNAC. Taurine supplementation of PN varied between institutions. The presence or absence of taurine in PN was analyzed by multivariate analysis, with a primary outcome measure of serum conjugated bilirubin (CB) as a measure of PNAC. Results: Taurine reduced PNAC in premature infants (estimated maximum CB [95% confidence interval] 0.50 mg/dL [-0.17 to 1.18] for those receiving taurine, vs 3.45 mg/dL [1.79-5.11] for neonates not receiving taurine, approaching significance, p = .07). Taurine significantly reduced PNAC in infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC; estimated maximum CB 4.04 mg/dL [2.85-5.23], NEC infants receiving taurine, vs 8.29 mg/dL [5.61-10.96], NEC infants not receiving taurine, p < .01). There were too few neonates with surgical anomalies to evaluate the effect of taurine in this group. Conclusions: Within specific subgroups of neonatal patients, taurine supplementation does offer a very significant degree of protection against PNAC. Patients with NEC or severe prematurity are most likely to benefit substantially from taurine supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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