Catabolic effect in premature infants with early dexamethasone treatment

F. J. Tsai, C. H. Tsai, S. F. Wu, Y. H. Liu, T. F. Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the catabolic effects of dexamethasone therapy on protein metabolism, amino acid concentrations and urinary 3-methylhistidine (3MH) were measured in 28 premature infants who were included in a double-blind controlled study using early dexamethasone therapy in the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Fifteen infants received dexamethasone (0.5 mg/kg/day i.v.) and 13 infants received normal saline as control. Heparinized venous blood samples for amino acid analysis were obtained before the study and again at day 5 after starting the study. Urinary 3MH was measured on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 of treatment. A substantial increase in amino acid concentrations was observed in infants receiving dexamethasone. Alanine, glutamine, citrulline, ornithine and cystine concentrations increased twofold or more. The 3MH:creatinine ratio was increased in the treated group. These metabolic effects were most likely due to an increase in protein catabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1490
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-methylhistidine
  • amino acids
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • dexamethasone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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