Successful exchange transfusion in extremely preterm infant after symptomatic lipid overdose

BACKGROUND: Complications of intravenous lipid administration are relatively uncommon. However, inadvertent rapid infusion of intravenous fat emulsion (IVFE) is an inherent risk when fats are infused separately from the dextrose-amino acid solution.
CASE REPORT: Extremely preterm infant, born at 25 weeks and 6 days of gestational age weighing 920 g, who inadvertently received a massive overdose of IVFE due to a device failure. He developed lethargy, apnea, metabolic acidosis and hemodynamic instability requiring mechanical ventilation and inotropic support. Despite discontinuation of IVFE and supportive care, clinical course and metabolic acidosis worsened, so a double-volume exchange transfusion was performed. The procedure was well tolerated, without complications. Serum triglyceride concentration as well as other laboratory data normalized immediately after the exchange transfusion. The patient was extubated to continuous positive airway pressure and inotropic support was discontinued 24 hours after the procedure. He was discharged home at 40 weeks of corrected age with normal magnetic resonance imaging and neurological examination.
CONCLUSION: In cases of profound, symptomatic hypertriglyceridemia due to lipid overdose, double-volume exchange transfusion should be considered, even in extremely preterm infants.

*Corresponding Author: 

M. José Rodríguez-Castaño, Department of Neonatology Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Profesor Martín Lagos s/n, 28040, Madrid, Spain. Tel.: +34 913303555; Fax: +34 91 330 31 82; E-mail: