Metabolic biomarkers of small and large for gestational age newborns

Aviv Schupper, Shlomo Almashanu, Dan Coster, Rimona Keidar, Moshe Betser, Nadav Sagiv, Haim Bassan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Small for gestational age (SGA) and large for gestational age (LGA) newborns are at increased risk for developmental, metabolic and cardiovascular morbidities. Aims: To compare the metabolic biomarkers of SGA and LGA infants with those of appropriate for gestational age (AGA) newborns in order to shed more light on a possible pathogenesis of those morbidities. Study design: An observational retrospective study. Subjects: 70,809 term newborns divided into AGA, SGA, LGA, and severe subcategories (<3rd percentile or ≥97th percentile). Outcome measures: 18 metabolites were measured by dried blood tandem mass spectrometry and compared in between groups in univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Results: SGA newborns had a significant likelihood for elevated methionine, proline, free carnitine, and reduced valine levels compared to AGA newborns (P < .0001). Severe SGA showed more apparent trends including elevated leucine. LGA newborns had a significant likelihood for low citrulline, glutamine, proline, tyrosine, and elevated leucine levels (P ≤ .0033). Severe LGA newborns showed the same trends, with the exception of citrulline and glutamine. Conclusions: SGA and LGA newborns demonstrate distinct metabolic biomarkers in newborn screening. Most of the altered metabolites in the SGA group were elevated while those in the LGA group were decreased in comparison to AGA newborns. These trends were more apparent in the severe SGA subgroup while they mostly remained the same in the severe LGA subgroup. Whether these metabolic changes are involved with or can predict long-term outcome awaits further trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105422
JournalEarly Human Development
StatePublished - Sep 2021


FundersFunder number
Edmond J. Safra Center
Tel Aviv University


    • Infant, appropriate for gestational age (AGA)
    • Infant, large for gestational age (LGA)
    • Infant, small for gestational age (SGA)
    • Metabolic biomarkers
    • Neonatal screening


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