Oxidation products of uric acid and ascorbic acid in preterm infants with chronic lung disease

Biol Neonate. 1998;73(1):24-33. doi: 10.1159/000013956.


Allantoin, the oxidation product of uric acid (UA), can be used as an in vivo marker of free radical generation. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the allantoin changes in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) as well as to examine plasma levels of ascorbic acid (AA) and its oxidation product, dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), in infants with or without chronic lung disease (CLD) during the first week of life. The study population was 20 infants of 24-30 weeks gestation, comprising 10 who subsequently developed CLD and 10 without CLD. In the CLD infants, the plasma allantoin/UA ratio showed a significant increase after day 1 and continued to increase gradually to reach a peak on day 6 (6.5 +/- 4.1% for CLD and 2.1 +/- 0.9% for non-CLD infants). The allantoin/UA ratio in BALF was also higher in CLD infants and the difference reached significance on days 4-6 (41.2 +/- 15.8% for CLD and 11.7 +/- 9.9% for non-CLD infants). In contrast to allantoin, the plasma DHAA/AA ratio did not differ between the 2 groups throughout the study period. Our findings that the allantoin/UA ratios were significantly higher in CLD than non-CLD infants not only in plasma but also in BALF, and that the intergroup differences of this ratio in both plasma and BALF was more prominent in the latter half of the first week of life further confirm our previous speculation that oxygen radicals are involved in the development of neonatal CLD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allantoin / analysis
  • Allantoin / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / chemistry
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dehydroascorbic Acid / blood
  • Female
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / blood
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / metabolism*
  • Lung Diseases / blood
  • Lung Diseases / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Uric Acid / chemistry
  • Uric Acid / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Free Radicals
  • Uric Acid
  • Allantoin
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Dehydroascorbic Acid