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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.

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Evaluation of the Iron Status of the Newborn by Soluble Transferrin Receptors in Serum

Ellen P. A. Kuiper-Kramer / Wim Baerts / Reinout Bakker / Jim van Eyck / Jan van Raan / Henk G. van Eijk

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 36, Issue 1, Pages 17–22, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.1998.004, June 2005

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The concentration of soluble transferrin receptors in serum has proven to be a reliable predictor of iron status in adults. Its high sensitivity for iron deficiency combined with a small sample size (10 μl) makes it an interesting parameter for the assessment of iron stores in newborn infants.

In the present study we investigated the usefulness of the concentration of soluble transferrin receptors in serum in the assessment of iron metabolism in the newborn. Infants born after an uncomplicated labour were compared to infants in the intensive care unit. The concentration of soluble transferrin receptors in serum was found to be elevated compared to normal adults and independently of iron metabolism. The concentration of soluble transferrin receptors did not correlate with serum iron and ferritin concentrations. In contrast to what was found in other studies, no relationship could be demonstrated between soluble transferrin receptors and birth weight or gestational age. The results of this study have shown that care has to be taken in the interpretation of the concentration of soluble transferrin receptors in serum in newborn infants. It seems to be a parameter which is independent of iron metabolism at least during the first days of life.

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