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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Nov-Dec;13(9):1571-6.

Cord blood and postnatal serum leptin and its relationship to steroid use and growth in sick preterm infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.



To study the effect of prenatal and postnatal glucocorticoids use on serum leptin and weight gain in sick preterm infants and its correlation with caloric intake.


Serum leptin was measured in 24 neonates at day 1 (cord), 14 and 28 by radioimmunoassay. Total caloric intake (enteral and parenteral) and weight were measured on days 14 and 28 of life.


Mean birth weight and gestational age of study infants were 864 +/- 273 g (mean +/- SD) (range 520-1755 g), and 26.6 +/- 2.4 weeks (23-32 weeks) respectively. Cord blood leptin was greater in infants whose mothers received antenatal steroids (1.98 +/- 1.05 ng/ml vs 0.94 +/- 0.39 ng/ml, p=0.004). Serum leptin increased postnatally from 1.52 +/- 1.0 ng/ml at birth to 2.2 +/- 1.3 ng/ml on day 28 of life (p=0.03). Mean serum leptin had an inverse exponential relationship with postnatal weight gain by day 28 of life (R2=0.56). Total caloric intake on days 14 and 28 of life did not correlate with postnatal weight gain.


Increased serum concentration of leptin following glucocorticoids may be associated with poor weight gain in sick preterm infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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