A specific mass spectrometric method was used for tetrahydroaldosterone determination in urine of preterm infants (26-34 weeks gestational age) up to 9 weeks of age. Hyponatraemia during the first 2 weeks of life was associated with an excretion of tetrahydroaldosterone (5-50 mug/24 h) comparable with full-term infants. Excretion of tetrahydroaldosterone was significantly elevated in all infants studied during the third week of life (80-350 mug/24 h) and this was associated with establishment of positive sodium balance. The excretion of tetrahydro aldosterone remained high for 2 or 3 weeks. The results are discussed in relation to the development of renal tubules and control mechanism for sodium homeostasis.