Bone growth with low bone mineral content in very low birth weight premature infants

Pediatr Res. 1986 Oct;20(10):925-8. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198610000-00003.


We report serial measurements of bone mineral content (BMC), bone width (BW, a measure of appositional bone growth), and the ratio of BMC:BW by photon absorptiometry of the left radius through the first 10 wk of life in 38 very low birth weight premature infants (birth weight less than 1300 g, gestational age less than 32 wk). Fifteen of 38 infants developed bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and as a group they could not be distinguished from the 23 infants without BPD, despite the high association between BPD and metabolic bone disease. As BPD occurred in the smaller patients, the BPD group had a significantly lower mean birth weight and mean gestational age as compared to controls (950 +/- 125 g versus 1119 +/- 149, and 28.0 +/- 0.8 versus 29.0 +/- 1.3 wk). For both control and BPD groups, BMCs did not differ and remained relatively unchanged throughout the first 10 wk of life, lagging significantly behind the intrauterine rate as defined by measuring BMC in 175 infants of varying gestational ages during the first few days of life. BW also did not differ during this period between groups. BW did increase significantly in both groups (from 3.2 +/- 0.3 to 3.9 +/- 0.4 mm in the controls and from 3.0 +/- 0.3 to 3.8 +/- 0.4 mm in the BPD group), but remained significantly delayed compared to the intrauterine rate. In both groups, BMC remained relatively constant despite increasing BW and thus BMC/BW decreased during the first 10 wk of life (from 11.5 +/- 1.3 to 10.2 +/- 1.9 in the controls and from 11.0 +/- 1.3 to 8.6 +/- 2.2 in the BPD group).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Bone Development*
  • Bone and Bones / analysis*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / metabolism
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Radionuclide Imaging


  • Minerals