Oral L-arginine supplementation and faecal calprotectin levels in very low birth weight neonates

Journal of Perinatology, 05/11/2012

Polycarpou E et al. – Faecal calprotectin values decrease with increasing postnatal age in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, but this is not related to arginine supplementation.


  • The study enrolled 83 VLBW neonates with birth weight 1500g and gestational age <34 weeks.
  • In this double-blind study, 40 neonates received daily oral L-arginine supplementation of 1.5mmolkg-1 per day between the 3rd and 28th day of life, and 43 neonates placebo.
  • Stool samples were collected on days 3, 14 and 28, and calprotectin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


  • Calprotectin values significantly decreased over time in both groups (P=0.032).
  • No difference in faecal calprotectin values was recorded between neonates receiving arginine supplementation and neonates receiving placebo at days 3, 14 and 28.

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