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Bridging the Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Gap: The Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Premature Infants

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01908907
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 26, 2013
Results First Posted : April 2, 2018
Last Update Posted : March 21, 2019
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
The Gerber Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sanford Health

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to understand if the "DHA gap" can be corrected by giving a daily dose of DHA oil to preterm babies.

DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid, which means our body cannot make DHA. We have to take it in through our diet. DHA is important for normal brain and eye health and it may also decrease inflammation. This is important for premature babies because they are at a greater risk for getting diseases related to inflammation, especially in their lungs, eyes and intestines. Since DHA is so important for normal growth, you will find DHA naturally in breast milk and it is now added to infant formula. But the amount in breast milk and infant formula is about half of what your infant should expect to get in the womb (about 13-29mg per day in breast milk vs. 50-75mg per day in the womb). Very premature babies are at an even greater disadvantage because they cannot always eat very much right away and that is the only way they can get essential fatty acids in their body. This means premature babies are getting less DHA than they would in the womb and then the "DHA gap" continues for a longer period of time. This gap also comes at a time when their brain is growing most rapidly and their bodies need it the most. This trial is designed to see if giving DHA, even before the baby can take food orally, will raise his/her DHA blood levels to those of normal term babies.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Prematurity Dietary Supplement: DHA oil Dietary Supplement: (MCT) Control oil Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential fatty acid (FA) important for health and neurodevelopment. Premature infants are at risk of DHA deficiency and circulating levels directly correlate with health outcomes. Most supplementation strategies have focused on increasing DHA content in mother's milk or infant formula. However, extremely premature infants may not reach full feedings for weeks and commercially available parenteral lipid emulsions do not contain preformed DHA, so blood levels decline rapidly after birth. Our objective is to develop a DHA supplementation strategy to overcome these barriers. This single-center, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial determined feasibility, tolerability and efficacy of daily enteral DHA supplementation (50 mg/day) in addition to standard nutrition for preterm infants (24-34 weeks gestational age) beginning in the first week of life. Blood FA levels will be analyzed at baseline, full feedings and near discharge in DHA or placebo supplemented preterm infants. Term peers will also have blood FA levels analyzed for comparison. Growth, feeding tolerance and adverse outcomes (NEC, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), thrombocytopenia, sepsis) will be evaluated. Study progress and safety will be monitored by an external Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). Overall, the study aims to determine if daily enteral DHA supplementation is feasible and alleviates deficiency in premature infants.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 60 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Bridging the Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Gap: The Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Premature Infants
Study Start Date : October 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: DHA oil
DHA oil administered 50 mg/d (0.18ml)as an oil emulsion enterally with feedings or by gavage tube if the infant has one.
Dietary Supplement: DHA oil
Therapy Group:DHA oil administered at 50 mg/d (0.18ml) as an oil emulsion enterally with feedings or by gavage tube if the infant has one.

Placebo Comparator: (MCT) control oil
MCT oil administered 0.18ml as an oil emulsion enterally with feedings or by gavage tube if the infant has one.
Dietary Supplement: (MCT) Control oil
Placebo Group:MCT oil administered at 0.18 ml as an oil emulsion enterally with feedings or by gavage tube if the infant has one.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Days to Reach Full Enteral Feedings and Days on Study Oil. [ Time Frame: From enrollment until the infant reaches full feed or is discharged from the NICU, whichever comes first, assessed up to 50 days. ]
    This study was designed to determine feasibility and tolerability of enteral DHA supplementation, but was not intended to determine the effects of DHA on health related outcomes. Tolerability was measured by days to reach full enteral feedings, days on study oil, GA at completion of the study and postnatal growth. The days to reach full enteral feedings was defined as enteral intake of 100kcal/kg/d. Safety and tolerability was closely monitored under the oversight of an independent DSMB.

  2. Feasibility and Tolerability of Daily Enteral DHA Oil - Weight Change [ Time Frame: 30 days from birth ]
    A linear mixed model was used to explore weight over time.

  3. Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (LCPUFA) Levels - Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Levels in Whole Blood [ Time Frame: At baseline (enrollment, < 1 week of age), full feedings, discharge ]
    Linear mixed models were also used to examine the association between each FA of interest and treatment group over time. Since only three time points were available for FA measurement, only a random intercept was included in the models. For these models, the random effect for multiples was again found to be not needed and removed. Primary outcome variables for this analysis included LNA, ALA, ARA and DHA. Only early/late preterm status was included in the model as a covariate since this was a stratification variable. Continuous dependent variables were transformed using the natural logarithm as needed to meet the assumptions of the regression model (this included LNA and ALA).

  4. Feasibility and Tolerability of Daily Enteral DHA Oil - Length Change [ Time Frame: 30 days from birth ]
    A linear mixed model was used to explore length over time.

  5. Feasibility and Tolerability of Daily Enteral DHA Oil - Head Circumference [ Time Frame: 30 days from birth ]
    A linear mixed model was used to explore head circumference over time.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. LCPUFA Levels - Arachidonic Acid (ARA) in Whole Blood [ Time Frame: At baseline (enrollment, <1 week of age), full feedings and discharge ]
    Linear mixed models were also used to examine the association between each FA of interest and treatment group over time. Since only three time points were available for FA measurement, only a random intercept was included in the models. For these models, the random effect for multiples was again found to be not needed and removed. Primary outcome variables for this analysis included LNA, ALA, ARA and DHA. Only early/late preterm status was included in the model as a covariate since this was a stratification variable. Continuous dependent variables were transformed using the natural logarithm as needed to meet the assumptions of the regression model (this included LNA and ALA).


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. LCPUFA Levels - Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA) in Whole Blood [ Time Frame: Baseline (<1 week of age), full enteral feedings and discharge ]
    Linear mixed models were also used to examine the association between each FA of interest and treatment group over time. Since only three time points were available for FA measurement, only a random intercept was included in the models. For these models, the random effect for multiples was again found to be not needed and removed. Primary outcome variables for this analysis included LNA, ALA, ARA and DHA. Only early/late preterm status was included in the model as a covariate since this was a stratification variable. Continuous dependent variables were transformed using the natural logarithm as needed to meet the assumptions of the regression model (this included LNA and ALA).

  2. LCPUFA Levels - Linoleic Acid (LNA) [ Time Frame: Baseline, full feedings and discharge ]
    Linear mixed models were also used to examine the association between each FA of interest and treatment group over time. Since only three time points were available for FA measurement, only a random intercept was included in the models. For these models, the random effect for multiples was again found to be not needed and removed. Primary outcome variables for this analysis included LNA, ALA, ARA and DHA. Only early/late preterm status was included in the model as a covariate since this was a stratification variable. Continuous dependent variables were transformed using the natural logarithm as needed to meet the assumptions of the regression model (this included LNA and ALA).



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Ages Eligible for Study:   24 Weeks to 33 Weeks   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Preterm infants between 24 and 33 6/7 weeks gestation
  • must be less than or equal to 1 week of age

Exclusion Criteria:

  • infants who are considered by the medical team to be non-viable
  • infants with multiple or severe congenital anomalies such as gastroschisis, congenital chylothorax or other illnesses that do not allow a feeding tube to be placed or utilized at 7 days of age.
  • term infants: who are born to mothers with diabetes or are small for gestational age (SGA-less than the 10th% for adjusted gestational age
  • All families consented for this study will need to be able to read and write English
  • Mother must be 18 years of age or older
  • Taking Omegaven

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01908907


Locations
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United States, South Dakota
Sanford Health USD
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States, 57117
Sponsors and Collaborators
Sanford Health
The Gerber Foundation
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Michelle L Baack, MD Sanford Health

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Sanford Health
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01908907     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: DHA Gap
First Posted: July 26, 2013    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 2, 2018
Last Update Posted: March 21, 2019
Last Verified: March 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Plan Description: Individual participant data (IPD) will not be shared with other researchers. All data is de-identified for review by DSMB or others.

Keywords provided by Sanford Health:
Premature Infants
DHA(docosahexaenoic acid)
DHA deficit

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Premature Birth
Obstetric Labor, Premature
Obstetric Labor Complications
Pregnancy Complications