As alluded to in a previous post (Help with hepcidin), hepcidin is integral to iron metabolism. In a recent study (J Pediatr 2012; 160: 949-53), serum and urine hepcidin concentrations in preterm infants were found to correlate well with iron homeostasis markers in preterm infants.
This study examined 31 preterm infants (23-32 weeks gestational age).
- Serum hepcidin was highest in infants with systemic inflammation.
- Both serum and urine hepcidin correlated strongly with ferritin (Figure 2 in study) and negatively with soluble transferrin receptor/ferritin-ratio.
- Infants with lower hemoglobin concentrations and higher reticulocyte counts had lower serum hepcidin.
- There was good correlation between urine and serum hepcidin (Figure 1 in study). As such, urine hepcidin may become useful non-invasive marker for iron status in sick preterm infants