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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Approach to Neonatal Hypocalcemia

Sabitha S Pillai, Christy A Foster, Ambika P Ashraf

Keywords : Calcium, Hypocalcemia, Neonate

Citation Information : Pillai SS, Foster CA, Ashraf AP. Approach to Neonatal Hypocalcemia. 2022; 1 (1):190-196.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11002-0017

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 31-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Hypocalcemia in neonates is defined as total serum calcium concentration less than 7.5–8 mg/dL and/or ionized calcium less than 4.4 mg/dL in neonates (>1500 g) and total serum calcium concentration less than 7 mg/dL or ionized calcium less than 3.6 mg/dL in low-birth-weight neonates (<1500 g). About 80% of the calcium transfer across the placenta occurs in the last trimester. Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) regulates the positive calcium balance in the placenta. Postpartum serum calcium level in neonates depends on an intricate relationship between PTH and renal and skeletal factors. Based on the timing of the presentation, hypocalcemia can be early onset (develops in the first 72 hours of life) and late onset (occurs after 72 hours of life). Causes of early-onset hypocalcemia include prematurity, SGA, IUGR, birth asphyxia, diabetes mellitus, or toxemia in the mother. Late-onset neonatal hypocalcemia may be caused by increased dietary phosphate content, neonatal vitamin D deficiency, hypomagnesemia, hypoparathyroidism, or parathyroid hormone resistance. We present a neonate with hypocalcemia due to transient hypoparathyroidism secondary to maternal adenoma. A thorough history and physical examination are essential to identify at-risk asymptomatic infants who need screening for hypocalcemia. Neonatal hypocalcemia can be a serious event and can cause serious morbidity and mortality. Majority of the early as well as transient late neonatal hypocalcemia resolves completely, while lifelong treatment may be required in some cases depending on the etiology.

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