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Indian J Pediatr. 2013 Sep;80(9):736-44. doi: 10.1007/s12098-013-0980-4. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Amino acid and acylcarnitine profiles in premature neonates: a pilot study.

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1
Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Giza, Egypt.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the longitudinal changes in amino acid (AA) and acylcarnitine (AC) profiles of preterm neonates over the first 2 wk of life, and to detect any significant deviation from full term values that requires change of cut-off values used for detection of metabolic disorders in preterm neonates.

METHODS:

This observational analytical longitudinal study was conducted on 131 premature neonates (gestational age ranged from 27 to 36 wk) and 143 healthy full-term neonates. Dried blood spots were taken on the 5th and 14th postnatal day from the premature neonates and on day 5 from full term neonates for neonatal screening. Samples were analyzed for AA and AC using tandem mass spectrometer.

RESULTS:

Most AA significantly decreased on day 14 compared to day 5 among preterm neonates (p < 0.05). The combined values of total carnitine (TC), total acylcarnitine (tAC) and short-chain acylcarnitines on day 5 among preterm neonates were statistically significantly higher compared to the day 14 sample (p 0.0001), whereas no statistically significant difference was found regarding the values of medium-, long-chain acylcarnitines, tAC/FC, and FC/TC (p > 0.05). The levels of AA of preterm neonates were statistically significantly higher than that of the controls (p < 0.05). The values of TC, tAC, short-, medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines, were significantly higher than those of the controls (p < 0.05). The reference ranges for preterm neonates were determined using the 1st and 99.9th percentiles.

CONCLUSIONS:

AA and AC showed an age-related distribution of their concentrations. This underlines the importance of using appropriate reference values when working with a prematurely born population.

PMID:
23404695
DOI:
10.1007/s12098-013-0980-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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