Document Detail

Hyponatraemia in very low birth weight infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12395787     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Infants less than 1500 grams at birth have been demonstrated to be particularly prone to development of low levels of serum sodium often leading to increased early neonatal morbidity and mortality. No local study has been done to quantify this problem among sick newborns. Studies elsewhere demonstrate a high incidence of hyponatraemia among such preterms. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of infant early neonatal morbidity on serum sodium levels and justify regular monitoring and supplementation. DESIGN: Comparative cohort study. SETTING: Newborn Unit, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi. SUBJECTS: Fifty six very low birth weight (1000-1500 grams at birth) infants during their first week of life. Half of them were designated as cases in view of having various early neonatal illnesses. The remaining 28 being clinically stable were taken as controls. These two groups had comparable birthweights, sex distribution and gestational ages. Their sodium intakes were also similar during the first week of life. RESULTS: The sick infants (cases) had persistently low serum sodium (mean of 120 mmols/L) throughout the first week while among the healthy infants (controls) a sequential increase from 127 to 133 mmol/l, (mean values) was observed during the same period. The difference registered on day seven (133 versus 120) was statistically significant (p = 0.02). Using a cut off point of 130 mmol/L to define hyponatraemia the proportion of infants with hyponatraemia, which was similar at the beginning became higher among the cases for the rest of the week with the largest disparity observed on the seventh day (75% versus 23%, p = 0.007). Urinary sodium losses as measured by Fractional Sodium Excretion were also initially similar between the two groups but later became higher among the cases (4.96 versus 3.5 p=0.08). CONCLUSION: Very low birth weight infants who are ill have lower serum sodium and are more likely to develop significant hyponatraemia than their healthy counterparts during the first week of life. Standard care of these sick infants must therefore routinely include regular monitoring of serum sodium and its correction if found to be low.
D N Ndwiga; F N Were; R N Musoke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  East African medical journal     Volume:  79     ISSN:  0012-835X     ISO Abbreviation:  East Afr Med J     Publication Date:  2002 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-10-22     Completed Date:  2002-11-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372766     Medline TA:  East Afr Med J     Country:  Kenya    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  120-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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MeSH Terms
Hyponatremia / blood,  epidemiology*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / blood*
Sodium / blood
Reg. No./Substance:

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