Hepcidin concentrations in serum and urine correlate with iron homeostasis in preterm infants.
The incidence of anemia in premature and very low birth weight neonates is very high. Iron supplemetation should be considered in these patients but the cost-benefit ratio of this therapeutic measure is not always clear. Hepcidin might help address this question. Hepcidin is a regulator of iron homeostatis: when the hepcidin level is high, intestinal iron absorption and systemic iron availability are low; vice versa, a low hepcidin level enhances plasmatic iron availability. Müller et al. measured urine and serum concentrations of hepcidin in 31 preterm infants (23-32 weeks gestational age). They found that the measurement of hepcidin from urine and serum seems reliable, and that hepcidin level might be a useful information when an iron supplementation is considered. However, futher studies must be conducted before we start to use this new biomarker.
– Jacques Lacroix