Colloid Osmotic Pressure of Parenteral Nutrition Components and Intravenous Fluids


Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd, North Grafton, MA 01536


Objective:Parenteral nutrition is an important part of therapy for critically ill animals that cannot tolerate enteral feedings. It has been hypothesized that parenteral nutrition might also play a role in increasing colloid osmotic pressure (COP). The purpose of this study was to measure COP of various parenteral nutrition components and compare them to the COP of commonly used intravenous solutions.

Design:Membrane colloid osmometry was used to measure the COP of parenteral nutrition components (lipids, Abstractamino acids, dextrose solutions) and of synthetic colloids, crystalloids, and blood products.

Main Results:Parenteral nutrition components and all crystalloid solutions had COP measurements < 1 mm Hg. Great variation in COP was found in the different artificial colloids and blood products. The COP of the artificial colloids tested ranged from 32.7 ± 0.2 mm Hg for hetastarch to 61.7 ± 0.5 mm Hg for dextran 70.

Conclusions:The results of this in vitro study suggest that parenteral nutrition does not directly contribute to an increase in oncotic pressure. Further studies are needed to determine whether parenteral nutrition may indirectly influence COP in vivo. Knowing the COP of a fluid, along with its other properties, is useful in making appropriate therapeutic decisions.