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December 11, 1948

Current Comment

JAMA. 1948;138(15):1100. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900150030011

RENAL FUNCTION IN INFANTS  With the birth of the child, the task of removing fixed wastes from the circulatory system is transferred suddenly from the placenta to the kidney. At this time the child's kidney is not yet fully developed and it has not reached the state of efficiency characteristic of the adult organ.1 Infant urine has a low specific gravity which is not increased in severe dehydration to the extent observed in the adult. Both urea and mineral clearances are low when compared with the mature subject on the basis of surface area. The rate of glomerular filtration and the rate of tubular secretion of substances such as creatinine are also low. Infants excrete a smaller fraction of ingested water than do adults, and only little diuresis results from the administration of hypertonic salt solution. If the baby is normal, the kidney will do all the work required

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