Serum adrenal steroid concentrations in premature infants

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



17-alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone; 17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone; 18-Hydroxycorticosterone; Aldosterone; Androstenedione; Birth Weight; Cortodoxone; Dehydroepiandrosterone; Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate; Female; Gestational Age; Hormones; Humans; Hydrocortisone; Hydroxyprogesterones; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Premature; Male; Steroids


Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Endocrinology


To evaluate serum adrenal steroid concentrations in preterm infants, 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 11-deoxycortisol, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, androstenedione, 18-hydroxycorticosterone, and aldosterone values were determined in 9 sick and 13 healthy premature infants. Serum steroid concentrations were compared to previously reported data from healthy full-term infants. 17-OHP, 11-deoxycortisol, and aldosterone values were higher in sick preterm infants than in healthy preterm infants. Compared to healthy full-term infants, the premature infants-had significantly higher 17-hydroxypregnenolone, 17-OHP, and DHEA sulfate concentrations. Cortisol values were not different between the sick and healthy preterm infants and were similar to full-term values. Aldosterone values were also similar between the premature and the full-term infants. The findings of elevated steroid precursors in preterm infants and low cortisol levels in stressed sick preterm infants may indicate a relative immaturity of adrenal enzyme activity and inadequate adrenal reserve for stress.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989 Dec;69(6):1133-6. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism


At the time of publication, Mary Lee was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID