Parenteral nutrition is an integral part of the care of infants in the neonatal ICU. However, prolonged use of parenteral nutrition can be associated with adverse outcomes, most notably parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease, now known as intestinal failure-associated liver disease (IFALD). This review highlights pertinent developments in the epidemiology of IFALD as it pertains to neonates and showcases recent advances in the pathophysiology, treatment, and outcomes of neonates with IFALD.
The role of intravenous lipid emulsions in the pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of IFALD remains a target for investigative studies. Recent data continues to support the use of fish-oil based intravenous lipids, but its use is limited due to concerns for essential fatty acid deficiency. Use of soy-based lipids and mixed lipids is not wrought with such concerns as these are often used at greater doses but their use is limited due to higher proinflammatory fatty acid content, increased phytosterols and decreased antioxidants, risk factors for the development of IFALD.
Hepatic complications may limit the use of parenteral nutrition in the neonatal ICU. However, the pathophysiology of IFALD is continuing to be further elucidated and novel targets are being developed for the treatment of IFALD. As noninvasive disease monitoring strategies continue to be developed, early enteral nutrition ameliorates the risk of IFALD and should be considered when possible.

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