Send to

Choose Destination
J Perinatol. 2004 Apr;24(4):252-6.

Factors influencing levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in very low birth weight infants and the relationship to death and IVH.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE 19718, USA.



17-Hydroxyprogesterone, an intermediary hormone in cortisol synthesis, has been shown to be elevated in premature infants. However, the relationship between levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone with death and intraventricular hemorrhage has not been extensively explored. The objective of this study was to determine the factors influencing 17-hydroxyprogesterone and determine if there is an association between intraventricular hemorrhage, mortality, and levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in a population of very low birth weight infants.


Cohort study of very low birth weight infants cared for at a single level 3 NICU during a 1-year period from July 2001 to July 2002. Infants had a minimum of one screen for 17-hydroxyprogesterone and one cranial sonogram. 17-Hydroxyprogesterone was measured on the fifth day of life and at 2 to 4 weeks of life as part of the State of Delaware Newborn Screening Program. Statistical analysis included chi(2), Pearson correlation, multiple-linear regression, and logistic regression.


Levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone were higher at the time of the first screen compared to the second screen (28.3+/-25.6 vs 17.0+/-18.0 ng/ml, p=0.01), respectively. After controlling for potential confounding variables, gestational age, T(4), and prenatal steroids were all independently associated with 17-hydroxyprogesterone. However, logistic regression analysis showed no association between a 1 log increase in levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone with the outcomes of death (odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 0.6 to 5.6), severe IVH (0.7, 0.3 to 1.7), and death and/or severe intraventricular hemorrhage (0.9, 0.4 to 2.1).


In our population of very low birth weight infants, low gestational age, low T(4), and prenatal steroids were all associated with an elevation in levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone. High levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone were not associated with death and/or severe IVH. Our data indicate that factors such as gestational age and antenatal steroids must be considered when interpreting 17-hydroxyprogesterone results from newborn screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center