Protein turnover rates in sick, premature neonates during the first few days of life

S G Mitton, Alexander Graham Calder, P J Garlick

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Rates of protein turnover were measured in 19 infants during the first few days of life while they were receiving i.v. glucose. The technique consisted of a continuous i.v. infusion of L-[1-13C]leucine to measure whole body leucine flux and determination of total urinary nitrogen excretion to assess leucine oxidation rates. Subsequent to each of the studies, the decision to start total parenteral nutrition (TPN) was made by the clinician concerned, with the result that seven infants did not start TPN and 12 did. There were significantly greater urinary nitrogen excretion (p less than 0.001) and lower rates of whole body protein synthesis (p = 0.024) and breakdown (p = 0.015) in those who did start TPN compared with those who did not. The marked difference in nitrogen excretion between the two groups suggests that this could be a useful determinant for deciding which neonate should start TPN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-422
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1991


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Leucine
  • Male
  • Nitrogen
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Total
  • Proteins


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