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Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

What is Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) is a form of nutritional support that bypasses the normal digestion in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is a sterile liquid chemical formula of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals given directly into the bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) catheter. TPN maybe used as short-term or long-term nutritional therapy, all depending on the individual circumstances.


You may hear TPN being referred to in other ways such as PN, PPN, HPN or Artificial Nutrition


TPN: Total Parenteral Nutrition

PN: Just drop the T off TPN and you’ve got PN. Parenteral Nutrition! Some clinicians no longer like to refer to it as TPN and rather use PN, it is referred to as PN because although life sustaining, the solution does not contain all (total) of the nutrients present in our diets.

PPN: PPN means Partial Parenteral Nutrition. PPN is used to describe people who only receive part of their nutrition from PN but are also able to take some food by mouth or Enterally through a nasogastric tube (NG tube) or gastrostomy tube (G-tube or PEG tube) in addition to parenteral nutrition.

HPN: Stands for Home Parenteral Nutrition, which simply refers to the people who use parenteral nutrition at home just like Charlie (seen in picture).​

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