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Plasma Ascorbate and Ceruloplasmin Levels in Thai Premature Infants


Patcharee Boonsiri, PhD*,
Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, MD**, Pakaphan Kiatchoosakun, MD**,
Wanlaya Naowaratwattana, MSc*, Tueanjit Khampitak, MD*,
Pranithi Hongsprabhas, MD***, Puangrat Yongvanit, PhD*

* Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen
** Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen
*** Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen


Background: Free radicals have been implicated in the pathogenesis of some complications among premature infants. Even though ascorbate is an important anti-oxidant in human plasma, it can also act as a pro-oxidant at high concentrations in the presence of metal ions, which causes oxidative damage in premature infants.
Objective: To determine plasma ascorbate and ceruloplasmin levels in premature infants (and their mothers) and full-term infants and to compare between groups.
Material and Method: Premature (n = 27) and full-term infants (n = 24) and the mothers of the premature infants (n = 13) admitted to Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, were enrolled in the study. Plasma ascorbate and ceruloplasmin levels were determined and compared among various clinical presentations.
Results: Plasma ascorbate has negative correlation with gestational age of infants. Its level on day 1 of the premature infants was significantly higher than full-term group (52.62 vs 39.00 mmol/L) and then decline after birth. Premature infants receiving oxygen therapy had lower plasma ascorbate than premature infants without oxygen therapy (p = 0.017). Plasma ascorbate in premature infants who died was higher than in those that survived (p = 0.029). Premature infants with poor outcomes had a higher ratio of plasma ascorbate to ceruloplasmin than those with good outcomes (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: This study shows that high plasma ascorbate and low ceruloplasmin levels are associated with poor outcomes of premature infants; that is, ascorbate can act as either an anti-oxidant or a pro-oxidant.

Keyword : Vitamin C, Ascorbate, Ceruloplasmin, Premature Infants, Pro-oxidant, Anti-oxidant, Thai

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