SERUM OSTEOCALCIN AS A MARKER OF BONE METABOLISM DURING NUTRITIONAL RECOVERY IN CASES OF PROTEIN ENERGY MALNUTRITION
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The level of serum osteocalcin as well as calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase was studied in 45 cases of PEM during nutritional rehabilitation as well as 30 matching controls. The infants aged between 4-24 months and were selected from the Nutrition Clinic at the Pediatrics Department of Benha University Hospitals. Levels of serum osteocalcin were within the normal range in the studied groups (3.1 + 0.8 ng/ml for controls), (3.2 + 1.7 ng/ml for marasmus) and (5.3 + 1.8 ng/ml for KWO), and were not affected by either age or sex. Serum osteocalcin was significantly higher in KVVO but not in marasmus during nutritional rehabilitation. It correlated negatively with both ALP and calcium in both groups of malnourished infants. Meanwhile, it correlated positively with levels of serum phosphorus. Our findings indicate that serum osteocalcin is a sensitive indicator of new bone formation during nutritional rehabilitation in cases of PEM and that new bone formation and catch up growth are earlier and better established in cases of KVVO as compared to cases of marasmus.