Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Sodium homeostasis in term and preterm neonates. III. Effect of salt supplementation.
  1. J Al-Dahhan,
  2. G B Haycock,
  3. B Nichol,
  4. C Chantler,
  5. L Stimmler


    Clinical and biochemical effects of supplementing dietary sodium intake to 4 to 5 mmol(mEq)/kg/day from days 4 to 14 of life were studied in 22 infants of gestational age 27 to 34 weeks. These infants were compared with a group of 24 unsupplemented babies. Supplemented infants lost less weight postnatally and regained birthweight more quickly: their improved weight gain continued after supplementation was stopped. Sodium balance was positive at age 5 to 11 days in supplemented babies but slightly negative in controls. Potassium balance was more strongly positive in the supplemented group. Plasma sodium concentration was higher in supplemented infants during weeks 3 and 4. Hyponatraemia was significantly more common in unsupplemented (37.5%) than supplemented (13.6%) infants. No infant became oedematous, hypernatraemic, or showed evidence of circulatory overload. The incidence of patent ductus arteriosus and necrotising enterocolitis was not increased; no intracranial haemorrhages occurred. Urinary potassium:sodium ratio was lower in supplemented babies than controls suggesting responsiveness of the distal tubule to mineralocorticoids. Providing 4 to 5 mmol(mEq)/kg/day of sodium to infants born before 34 weeks' gestation for the first two postnatal weeks improves growth and biochemical status and causes no undesirable side effects.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.