Objective: To examine erythroferrone (ERFE)-hepcidin iron regulation in premature infants under intensive care at risk of iron metabolic disorders. Study design: A retrospective cohort recruited 31 infants with a birth weight of <1500 g hospitalized in a tertiary center. Their hematological status was measured at birth and 2 and 4 weeks of life. Results: ERFE was positively correlated with the reticulocyte hemoglobin content at 2 (r2 = 0.2374) and 4 weeks (r2 = 0.6005). An assumed negative correlation between ERFE and hepcidin was not determined during the neonatal period. Hepcidin was positively correlated with the leukocyte count (r2 = 0.3089) and ferritin (r2 = 0.7476) at birth and C-reactive protein (r2 = 0.3591) at 2 weeks and negatively correlated with the reticulocyte count (r2 = 0.2887) at 4 weeks. Conclusion: The vulnerability of the ERFE-hepcidin pathway within 4 weeks may contribute to iron imbalance in premature infants.
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