Effect of calcium therapy in the sick premature infant with early neonatal hypocalcemia

Susan M. Scott, Jack H. Ladenson, James J. Aguanna, Jean Walgate, Laura S. Hillman

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15 Scopus citations


Twenty-seven sick premature infants with serum calcium concentrations <6.0 mg/dl during the first day of age were enrolled in a prospective controlled study involving two treatment regimens-calcium given as a bolus or a drip-or no treatment. Mean total calcium concentration was 5.5±0.8 mg/dl, and ionized calcium was 3.1±.3 mg/dl, with no significant difference between treatment groups. By 24 hours, in all groups total calcium had increased to >6.0 mg/dl (bolus 6.5±1.1, drip 7.0±0.4, control 6.6±0.4) and ionized calcium to >3.5 mg/dl (bolus 3.9±0.3, drip 3.6±0.6, control 3.6±0.3). Ionized and total calcium concentrations were significantly correlated (r=0.562; P<0.001), but total calcium did not predict ionized calcium in any group. These data support the concept that, even in sick infants, early neonatal hypocalcemia is a physiologic phenomenon that may not require treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984


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