Ceruloplasmin levels and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity in small preterm infants during the early anemia of prematurity

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1981 Nov;70(6):861-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1981.tb06240.x.


Ceruloplasmin plasma levels and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity were studied in appropriate for gestational age preterm infants (birth weights less than or equal to 1500 g) during the first 10 weeks of life. Preterm infants had significantly lower ceruloplasmin concentrations in cord blood than term infants, the mean level in the preterm infants being 0.07 g/l. At 1 week of age ceruloplasmin levels had risen significantly, whereupon a fall occurred at 2 weeks of age. Ceruloplasmin concentrations increased slowly and progressively from 4 weeks of age. The low ceruloplasmin concentration during the early anemia of prematurity seems not to interfere with iron mobilization. The superoxide dismutase activity per gram hemoglobin in cord blood erythrocytes from normal term infants was significantly lower than that of red blood cells from adults. When the activity was expressed per erythrocyte no difference was found. The normochromic macrocytic red blood cells of the neonate most likely explain this discrepancy. The erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity of the preterm infants did not change from birth until 10 weeks of age, and the levels seemed adequate judged from the levels found in red blood cells from adults and cord blood from term infants. Neither ceruloplasmin nor erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity seem to play a role in the etiology of the early anemia of prematurity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anemia / blood*
  • Birth Weight
  • Ceruloplasmin / analysis*
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology*
  • Fetal Blood / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / blood*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood*


  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ceruloplasmin