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Longitudinal Changes in the Bone Mineral Content of Term and Premature Infants

William B. Pittard III, MD; Kitty M. Geddes, BSN; Susan E. Sutherland, MS; Millage C. Miller, PhD; Bruce W. Hollis, PhD
Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(1):36-40. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250042028.
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• With the use of photon absorptiometry, bone mineralization was measured at birth and 8 and 16 weeks after delivery in 12 very-low-birth-weight premature (mean ± SD gestational age, 31 ±1.5 weeks) infants who required minimal medical support. Simultaneously, 19 healthy term infants were studied. Throughout the study, each neonate received modified 84–kJ/30 mL formula containing no added calciferol. The recommended daily allowance (400 IU) of calciferol was given to each infant as an oral supplement. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone concentrations were monitored biweekly and were normal. Bone mineral content and bone width significantly differed at birth between the term and premature infants. However, by 16 weeks after delivery, the premature infants had exceeded the bone mineral status of the term infants at birth, and their bone mineral content was not significantly lower than that of the term infants. These data indicate improved bone mineralization as compared with previously reported data from very-low-birth-weight neonates.

(AJDC. 1990;144:36-40)

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