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Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2013 May;10(2):86-90.

Inside the "fragile" infant: pathophysiology, molecular background, risk factors and investigation of neonatal osteopenia.

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2 Neonatology Clinic, Papageorgiou Hospital, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece ; 2 Pediatric Clinic, AHEPA Hospital, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Current research in bone mineral metabolism reveals many aspects of osteopenia occurred in premature infants. This review examines not only the pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms of newborn osteopenia but also the risk factors and investigation. Osteopenia of premature infants has increased incidence among other diseases of prematurity. Identification of risk factors is essential for monitoring of osteopenia. Some of the risk factors include low birth weight, prematurity, long term administration of drugs such as corticosteroids, methyloxanthines, furosemide, abnormalities in vitamin D metabolism, poor maternal nutritional and mineral uptake etc. Neonatologists, pediatricians and endocrinologists should investigate premature, low birth weight infants that have high serum alkaline phosphatase and have at least one risk factor.


bone metabolism; low birth weight; osteopenia; premature infants; vitamin D metabolism


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