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March 1960

The Urinary Excretion of 17-Hydroxycorticosteroids by Premature Infants: Comparisons Between Premature Infants Experiencing Uneventful Courses and Those Having Clinical Difficulty, Including Death

Author Affiliations

Upton, L.I., N.Y.
From the Departments of Pediatrics the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Oklahoma City, and the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(3):344-348. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030346011

Many premature infants die without an apparent clinical cause, often unexpectedly. Other premature infants who experience clinical difficulties demonstrate sufficient signs to alert the experienced clinician. Since, in premature infants, the normal values have not been established for many of the parameters that would be useful in judging the severity and extent of disease or dysfunction, it is often difficult or impossible to minister accurately to the needs of the patient.

The adrenal cortex is an organ of complex biochemical activity whose normal function is essential to the health of human beings. It has been suggested that newborn premature infants normally produce a minimal amount of 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS).1 At birth the mean values for urinary 17-OHCS were extremely low compared to those of normal adults, and they increased progressively during the first 40 days of life. Thus, there is evidence that in the newborn premature infant, adrenocortical function may

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