Renal glucose excretion was measured on 239 occasions in a sample of 36 infants of 25.5-33 weeks' gestation, birth weight 720-2000 g, between the ages of 0.5 and 32 days. Glucose was invariably present in urine from the first day. Fractional glucose excretion varied widely from 0.1% to 90% of filtered glucose and glucose excretion rate was up to 15.5 mmol/kg/day and was higher in the most immature infants, especially below 28 weeks' gestation. The highest values were in association with hyperglycaemia between 5 and 15 days but there was no consistent plasma glucose threshold with frequent glucose spillage at normal blood glucose concentrations. There was some correlation with sodium excretion in the first week suggesting that in the absence of hyperglycaemia with a normal filtered glucose load, glucose excretion is caused by proximal tubular immaturity.
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