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J Clin Neonatol. 2013 Jul;2(3):121-4. doi: 10.4103/2249-4847.119995.

Assessment of iron status and red cell parameters in healthy full term small for gestational age neonates at birth.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Gandhi Medical College and Kamla Nehru Hospital, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.



Hematological values of the newborn babies vary according to the gestational age and intrauterine growth.


The objective of this study is to compare the iron status and red cell parameters in healthy term small for gestational age (SGA) and appropriate for gestational age (AGA) neonates.


A prospective hospital based study was conducted in a tertiary care teaching institution of central India. 50 AGA and 50 SGA neonates were included in the study and serum iron, serum ferritin and red cell parameters (hemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell (RBC) count and hematocrit (Hct), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), means corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and red cell distribution width (RDW]) were estimated within 24 h of birth.


Serum ferritin levels were significantly low in SGA neonates as compared with AGA (mean 103 vs. 158 ng/ml; P=0.001) neonates. In SGA neonates, mean values of Hb (P=0.001), RBC count (P=0.018) and Hct (P=0.005) were significantly higher than in AGA neonates. Higher values of RDW and MCV were seen in SGA group in comparison with AGA neonates. Similarly, lower values of serum iron, MCH and MCHC were seen in the same group; although, these were non-significant.


Despite higher Hb content, SGA neonates are deficient in iron store at birth as indicated by lower serum ferritin levels in them and early iron supplementation should be considered in them.


Complete blood count; serum ferritin; serum iron; term appropriate for gestational age neonate; term small for gestational age neonates

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