Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Brief Report(s)



Intravenous lipid solution (intralipid) provides essential substances for optimizing growth in premature infants, but has potential side effects. We investigated the effects of dermal application of sunflower-seed oil (SFSO) as a substitute for intralipid in preterm infants. This study comprised of 20 preterm infants, unable to be fed enterally divided into case and control groups of equal numbers. SFSO was rubbed over the whole skin (1 gr/kg, three times daily) in case group only. Serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were measured in both groups initially, and on the third and seventh day. The initial mean of serum triglyceride (TG) levels in the case and control groups were 42.6±15.5mg/dl and 45.2±14.0 mg/dl respectively. TG level had a steady state increase at three (47%) and seven (80%) days of cutaneous application of SFSO in the case group, whereas, it decreased steadily in the control group. The respective initial mean cholesterol levels in the study and control groups were 94.6 and 102.5 mg/dl which did not significantly change during the course of the study in both groups. This study is indicating that although, deficiency of essential fatty acids or their related clinical complications were not observed in either group, application of SFSO steadily improved the level of triglyceride in preterm infants. Therefore, dermal application of sunflower-seed oil is a non-invasive and economic way, and it appears to be a suitable non-complicated alternative for intralipid.Iran J Med Sci 2006; 31(2): 100-102. Keywords ● Premature infant ● sunflower-seed-oil ● intralipid ● hyperalimentation