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Potential aluminum exposure from parenteral nutrition in patients with acute kidney injury.

BACKGROUND: Patients' exposure to and potential toxicity from aluminum in parenteral nutrition (PN) formulations is an important concern of healthcare providers.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the potential for aluminum toxicity caused by PN in hospitalized adults who have risk factors of both acute kidney injury and PN.

METHODS: Adults who required PN and had a serum creatinine (SCr) level at least 1.5 times greater than the admission SCr on the first day of PN were studied in a retrospective fashion. Protein was administered based on whether hemodialysis was being used (0.6-1 g/kg/day without hemodialysis; 1.2-1.5 g/kg/day with hemodialysis). Aluminum exposure was determined for each patient by multiplying the volume of each PN component by its concentration of aluminum. Unpaired t-tests, Fisher's exact test, and analysis of variance were used for statistical analysis. Data are presented as mean +/- SD.

RESULTS: Thirty-six patients (aged 50.4 +/- 20.4 y; weight 90.2 +/- 32.8 kg) were studied. Initial serum urea nitrogen and SCr were 47 +/- 23 and 3.3 +/- 1.4 mg/dL, respectively. Twelve patients received hemodialysis. The mean aluminum exposure was 3.8 +/- 2 microg/kg/day in the 36 patients. Of these, 29 had safe calculated aluminum exposure (<5 microg/kg/day) and 7 had high calculated aluminum exposure (>5 microg/kg/day). Patients with safe aluminum exposure had significantly higher SCr levels than did those with high aluminum exposure (3.5 +/- 1.5 vs 2.2 +/- 0.7 mg/dL; p < 0.04). Patients with high aluminum exposure received significantly more aluminum from calcium gluconate compared with those who had safe aluminum exposure (357 +/- 182 vs 250 +/- 56 microg/day; p < 0.02). Limitations of the study include its retrospective design, which resulted in calculated versus direct measurement of aluminum.

CONCLUSIONS: Using our calculations, we believe that most patients with acute kidney injury who require PN do not receive excessive exposure to aluminum from the PN formulation, despite having 2 risk factors (acute kidney injury, PN) for aluminum toxicity.

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