Renal calcifications have been described in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, and diuretic drugassociated hypercalciuria is believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of this lesion. Hyperoxaluria is an improtant cause of renal stone formation in children and adults. Because parenteral nutrition solutions contain the oxalate precursors ascorbate and glycine, the relationship between total parenteral nutrition administration and oxalate excretion in VLBW infants was examined. Administration of approximately 0.5 g of total parenteral nutrition protein per kilogram per day to VLBW infants was associated with an increased urinary oxalate concentration and an increased urinary oxalate to creatinine ratio, when compared with VLBW infants receiving a glucose and electrolyte solution. A further increase in urinary oxalate concentration and oxalate to creatinine ratio was noted when total parenteral nutrition protein was increased to approximately 1.5 g of protein per kilogram per day. In VLBW infants who receive total parenteral nutrition, elevated urinary oxalate concentrations may develop and may be a factor in the pathogenesis of nephrocalcinosis in these infants.

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