Background: Melatonin production is known to be delayed in preterm-born infants up to 6 months of age. We aimed to test the profile of melatonin production in these infants at 9-12 months of age.
Methods: Twenty three term-born and 23 preterm-born infants (gestational age: 29-34 weeks) were randomly assigned. We tested nocturnal urinary melatonin excretion, within a repeated measures design, both at 9 and 12 months of age. Nocturnal urine was extracted from diapers and urinary melatonin derivate (6-sulphatoxymelatonin) excretion was analyzed by ELISA assay.
Results: Preterm-born infants had significantly lower urinary melatonin excretion both at 9 and 12 months of age as compared to term-born infants. At 9 months: 8502 ± 6215 vs 12735 ±10284 ng, and at 12 months: 8623 ± 5095 vs 14985 ± 10890 ng respectively, [F (1,42)=4.276], (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: At 9 and 12 months of age, the delayed maturation of melatonin production is still persistent in preterm-born infants as compared to term-born mates. The impact of persistent decreased melatonin production in preterm-born infants up to 12 months of age on their psychomotor development is to be elucidated.
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Goldstein, S., Makhoul, I. 188 Preterm-Born Infants Produce Less Melatonin Than Term-Born Infants at 9 and 12 Months of Age: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Pediatr Res 68, 98 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-201011001-00188