The over-all pattern of the physiologic and biochemical functions of the normal human adrenal cortex of older children and adults has been the subject of considerable study. Much less is known concerning the functional pattern of this gland in premature and full-term infants. Venning et al.,1 using a bioassay method, found no differences in the urinary excretion of glucocorticoids in premature and full-term infants during the first 10 days of life. Unfortunately, in their study "several" samples were "pooled," and since no information is given concerning the selection of samples for pooling it is not possible to interpret their data with assurance. It is noteworthy that these authors found no measurable glucocorticoids in the extracts of three normal homogenized human placentas.
Di George et al.2 have reported a very high plasma level of neutral 17-ketosteroids in an anencephalic infant who was studied during the period of 25 hours
CRANNY RL, CRANNY CL. The Urinary Excretion of Porter-Silber Chromogens by Premature Infants. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(4):401–409. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050405009
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