TPN stands for total parental nutrition, which is complete nutrition entered directly into the blood through an IV. Cholestasis is decreased bile flow and drainage. TPN cholestasis is a problem that can develop when food is entered directly into a patient's bloodstream.
Normally when food is swallowed, it goes to the stomach and then the intestines, where bile is used to help digest fats. Giving nutrition directly into the blood skips the stomach and the intestines. This causes the bile to eventually back up because it is not being used. This happens more often in babies than in older children and adults.
Children who may need TPN include those who:
- Recently had abdominal surgery.
- Were born prematurely.
- Are not able to eat for a prolonged time period.
- Are malnourished.
- Have chronic diarrhea.
Children who have TPN cholestasis might develop yellow skin or eyes (jaundice). They also may have abnormal blood tests. Your doctor will run other tests to rule out other diseases or problems.
The best way to treat TPN cholestasis is to feed your child by mouth. However, this does not always work for every child. Your doctor in the Liver Disease Clinic will discuss your child's specific circumstances and together you can decide on the best treatment for your child.