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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38481. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038481. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Hypoadiponectinemia in extremely low gestational age newborns with severe hyperglycemia--a matched-paired analysis.

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Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, University of Cologne, Children's Hospital, Cologne, Germany.



Hyperglycemia is commonly observed in extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs) and is associated with both increased morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between neonatal hyperglycemia and adiponectin levels in ELGANs.


Ten preterm infants between 22+6/7 and 27+3/7 weeks' gestation with neonatal hyperglycemia (defined as pre-feeding blood glucose levels above 200mg/dl on two consecutive measurements with a maximum parenteral glucose infusion of 4 mg/kg*min(-1)) formed the case cohort of this study. To every single patient of this case cohort a patient with normal fasting ( = pre-feeding) blood glucose levels was matched in terms of gestational age and gender. Adiponectin ELISAs were performed both at onset of hyperglycemia and at term-equivalent age. In the case cohort 9/10 patients had to be treated with insulin for 1-26 days (range 0.01-0.4 IU/kg*h(-1)). Compared to matched-paired controls, significant hypoadiponectinemia was observed at onset of hyperglycemia in these affected patients (6.9 µg/ml versus 15.1 µg/ml, p = 0.009). At term equivalent age, normoglycemia without any insulin treatment was found in both groups. Moreover, adiponectin levels at that time were no longer significantly different (12.3 µg/ml versus 20.0 µg/ml; p = 0.051) possibly indicating a mechanistic relevance of this adipokine in regulating insulin sensitivity in ELGANs.


Decreased circulating adiponectin levels are correlated with hyperglycemia in ELGANs and may contribute to the pathogenesis of impaired glucose homeostasis in these infants. These findings suggest that adiponectin might be a potential future drug target for the potentially save treatment of hyperglycemia in pre-term infants.

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