INTRODUCTION Normal children and adults show diurnal variation of plasma Cortisol levels reaching peak values around 08.00 h and lower values around 24.00 h. Despite numerous studies on diurnal variation of plasma Cortisol levels in children, the age of appearance of a circadian rhythm has not been definitely established. The purpose of this study was to investigate the development of Cortisol circadian rhythm in infancy. In seventy healthy, full-term infants, less than six months old, plasma Cortisol was measured at 10.30 h and 22.30 h. The mean Â± SEM values of daytime plasma Cortisol at one to four weeks of life were 159 Â± 41, 116 Â± 43, 240Â± 54 and 456 Â± 95 nmol/1 and the night-time values were 129 Â± 40, 99 Â± 44, 131 Â± 78 and 430 Â± 105 nmol/1, respectively. No statistically significant differences were found between daytime and night-time Cortisol values during the first four weeks of life. In contrast, the daytime values of plasma Cortisol were 295 Â± 62 at the age of 2-3 months, 211 Â± 43 at 4-5 months and 291Â± 31 nmol/1 at 6 months of life, and night-time values were 166 Â± 52, 119 Â± 35 and
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism – de Gruyter
Published: Jul 1, 1998
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