Sodium excretion in relation to sodium intake and aldosterone excretion in newborn pre-term and full-term infants

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1979 Nov;68(6):813-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1979.tb08217.x.


The importance of aldosterone for the control of salt balance has been examined in pre-term infants (gestational age 28--34 weeks) and in full-term infants. The post-natal age has varied from 2--21 days. Eight-hour urinary specimens have been analysed with regard to sodium, potassium and aldosterone. The daily sodium intake has been recorded following determination of milk intake and analyses of sodium in breast milk. Due to variations of sodium content of breast milk, the daily sodium intake in pre-term infants was lower than in full-term infants during the first 10 days of life. The sodium excretion was significantly higher in pre-term infants than in full-term infants during the first six days of life. During the first week of life the sodium balance is negative in pre-term infants and positive in full-term infants. Aldosterone excretion is high during the first week of life and increases further from the 2nd to the 3rd week of life in both pre-term and full-term infants. The correlation between aldosterone excretion and urinary potassium/sodium quotient is 0.87 in full-term infants, 0.57 in pre-term infants aged 13--20 days and does not exist in pre-term infants aged 2--10 days. It is suggested that the high sodium excretion in newborn pre-term infants can in part be explained by an unresponsiveness to aldosterone at this developmental stage.

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / metabolism*
  • Aldosterone / urine
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Milk, Human / analysis
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Potassium / urine
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Sodium / urine
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance


  • Aldosterone
  • Sodium
  • Potassium