Background & Objective: Iron deficiency before birth or in infancy can cause long-term behavioral and neurological disorders. Measuring serum ferritin is an effective way to diagnose iron deficiency but requires significant blood volume from a low birth weight infant. Therefore, the present study was performed to investigate the relationship between serum and urinary ferritin levels in low birth weight infants.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 76 infants weighing less than 2500 g were studied. To measure serum ferritin level, 1.5 mL of blood and to measure urinary ferritin level, at least 1 mL of urine was collected from each infant. Then the results were compared. Data analysis was performed using SPSS software version 16, and the significance level was considered less than 0.05.
Results: Out of 76 neonates studied, 51.3% were boys, and 80.3% were premature infants. The mean birth weight of infants was 2056.31±318.74 g, and the mean serum and urinary ferritin levels were 134.77±72.35 and 85.55±70.97 ng, respectively. There was a statistically significant relationship between serum and urinary ferritin levels. Also, serum ferritin and urinary ferritin levels had a statistically significant relationship with birth weight and gestational age. The higher the birth weight as well as the age at birth, the higher the serum ferritin and urinary ferritin.
Conclusion: According to the findings of this study, measurement of urinary ferritin level can be used as a noninvasive tool for iron deficiency screening in low birth weight infants instead of serum ferritin level.