Research Projects

Professor Ryszard Lauterbach

Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition

-oil fat emulsion supplementation reduces the risk of retinopathy in very low birth weight infants: a prospective, randomized study.

Journal: Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Manuscript ID: JPEN-2013-05-139
Manuscript Type: Brief Communication
Date Submitted by the Author: 26-May-2013
Complete List of Authors: Lauterbach, Ryszard; Jagiellonian University Medical College, Neonatology


  • Fish-Oil Fat Emulsion Supplementation Reduces the Risk
  • of Retinopathy in Very Low Birth Weight Infants: A
  • Prospective, Randomized Study
  • Dorota Pawlik, MD1
  • Joanna Hurkała, MD1;
  • Ryszard Lauterbach, MD, PhD1


Background: Preliminary studies suggest that fish-oil lipid emulsion given parenterally to very preterm infants reduces the severity of retinopathy (ROP) and cholestasis. Methods: Infants weighing <1250 g at birth were randomly allocated to 2 groups: an experimental group of 60 infants that received an intravenous (IV) soybean, olive oil, and fish oil emulsion, and a control group of 70 infants that was given a parenteral soybean and olive oil emulsion. Plasma and erythrocyte concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were determined using a high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. Results: Nine infants in the fish oil group required laser therapy for ROP compared with 22 infants in the standard intralipid group (risk ratio [RR], 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24–0.96). Three infants in the fish oil group developed cholestasis compared with 20 infants in the standard intralipid group (RR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.055–0.56). The mean plasma DHA concentrations in treated infants were 2.9-fold higher in the fish oil group than in control infants on the 7th and 14th days of life. The mean DHA content in erythrocytes of treated infants was 4.5-fold and 2.7-fold higher compared with controls at 7 and 14 days of age. Conclusions: Premature infants receiving an IV fat emulsion containing fish oil had less ROP requiring laser treatment and less cholestasis than those receiving a standard lipid emulsion. These infants also had higher plasma and erythrocyte DHA levels at 7 and 14 days, suggesting potential long-term neurodevelopmental benefits. (JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2014;38:711-716)

Tomasz Szczapa, M.D. PhD

A pediatrician and neonatologist from the Department of Neonatology at Poznań University of Medical Sciences (Poznań, Poland). The major interests of Doctor Tomasz Szczapa in the research regarding optimization of neonatal ventilatory support by the use of helium-oxygen gas mixture (designated Heliox). Results of the studies on heliox have been published in the renowned “Neonatology Journal” and the “Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition journal”.  Doctor Szczapa has also reported the use of electrical activity of diaphragm monitoring for diagnostic purposes in the Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (published in the “Journal of Perinatology”).  Tissue oxygenation monitoring in neonates with the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is another topic of his interest of Doctor Szczapa.  His paper regarding a comparison of two NIRS oximeters has published recently in the “Journal of Biomedical Optics”.  He is currently involved in a study on necrotizing enterocolitis carried out in cooperation and with support of Professor Michael Sherman from the University of Missouri.  Preliminary results of this study were presented in May 2014 at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  This research has also been accepted for presentation at the European Academic Paediatric Societies conference in Barcelona, Spain during October 6 – 10, 2014.  As a European Resuscitation Council certified instructor and course director, Doctor Szczapa has also taken part in the introduction of the Newborn Life Support courses throughout Poland.

Doc. Dr Hab. N. Med. Janusz Bursa

Samodzielny Publiczny Szpital Kliniczny nr 1 im. Prof. Stanisława

Szyszko ŚUM w Katowicach, Oddział Intensywnej

Terapii Dziecięcej

ul. 3-go Maja 13-15, 41-800 Zabrze

When he was a fellow, he and I had many discussions about environmental toxins in the area of Poland he practiced. The occurrence of spina bifida was extremely high. Many neonates under his care had major birth defects. When Janusz returned to Poland, he took our discussions to heart. Below is an article published after his return to Zabrze.

Folia Med Cracov. 1993;34(1-4):73-83.

Infant morbidity and mortality in a region of ecological disaster.

Norska-Borówka I1

Author information. 1Neonatal Pathology Clinic, Silesian Medical Academy, Zabrze, Poland.


Infant morbidity and mortality in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region (USIR) are indices of ecological disaster. In the most polluted region of such towns as Bytom, Chorzów and Zabrze, the infant mortality rate is very high and increasing. Indices of infant morbidity were higher in Katowice district than in the rest of Poland. Low birth weight (below 2,500 g) depends on the degree of pollution and influences the infant mortality rate.  Most parents of children who died in the first year of life have been resident for at least 15 years. In Zabrze in recent years, the percentage of congenital defects as the main, Bursa J.cause of infant mortality and is increasing.

Aleksandra M. Adamczak, M.D.

Epigenetic influences in the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia

T. Allen Merritt, Janusz Gadzinowski, Jan Mazela, Aleksandra M. Adamczak

Lung development is orchestrated by highly integrated morphogenic programs of interrelated patterns of gene and protein expression.  Both genetic and epigenetic influences may alter the developing lung in the canalicular and saccular phase of lung development that lead to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).  Maternal exposures to toxins, and especially tobacco smoke associated nicotine nitrosamine ketones, fetal and neonatal infections (with or without chorioamnionitis) and techniques of neonatal ventilator management including surfactant therapy in concert with innate genetic susceptibility have life-long consequences for the infant afflicted with BPD.  Exposure to supplemental oxygen poses another threat to the prematurely newborn and increases the risk for BPD and retinopathy of prematurity, but other effects in later life have been noted among infants given oxygen as newborns.  Thus a greatre focus on these epigenetic influences and novel strategies to care for the preterm infant will hopefully reduce the worldwide burden of BPD and increase awareness regarding epigenetic mechanisms that determine long term health and wellbeing.