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Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jun;22(3):447-62. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2008.03.002.

Growth patterns in the growth-retarded premature infant.

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Jessop Wing, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Tree Root Walk, Sheffield S10 2SF, UK.


Approximately 10% of all infants are born prematurely. A large proportion of these infants show evidence of postnatal growth impairment irrespective of whether birth weight was appropriate or small for gestational age. The timing and magnitude of catch-up growth is very variable, with the most immature infants showing markedly delayed catch up which is often incomplete. Long-term studies suggest that final stature may be affected significantly. Growth impairment in itself is of concern and there are suggestions that this group of infants should be eligible for growth hormone treatment. However, in addition, there is increasing evidence to suggest that there should be additional concerns in this group of infants, as abnormal early growth may influence disease susceptibility in adult life. This review assesses the patterns of postnatal growth and the possible later implications of early aberrant growth patterns in later life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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