Aluminum is a common contaminant in many components of parenteral nutrition, especially calcium and phosphate additives. Although long-term effects have been described in the literature, short-term effects are not well-known. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration recommends maintaining aluminum at <5 mcg/kg/day. This was a single center, retrospective case-control study of 102 neonatal intensive care unit patients. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis, rickets/osteopenia, or seizures and received at least 14 days of parenteral nutrition. Patients were matched 1:1 with control patients by gestational age and birth weight. Mean total aluminum exposure for the 14 days of parenteral nutrition was calculated using manufacturer label information. Differences in mean aluminum exposure between cases and controls, as well as subgroup analysis in those with renal impairment or cholestasis, was conducted. Aluminum exposure in patients meeting inclusion criteria closely mirrored the aluminum exposure of control patients. The difference in aluminum exposure was not found to be statistically significant, except in patients with cholestasis. Although the study found no difference in aluminum exposure in short-term complications with neonates, long-term complications are well established and may warrant the need to monitor and limit neonatal aluminum exposure.
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