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Abstract

Serum carboxy-terminal propeptide of human type I collagen (PICP) concentrations, as a marker for bone formation, and urinary pyridinium (Pyd) cross-link concentrations, as a marker of bone resorption, were determined in 66 healthy infants aged 1–18 months who are being studied longitudinally. We hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation of growth velocity, increase in bone area, and bone mass accretion rates with PICP and Pyd cross-link concentrations. Since osteocalcin is currently used as a marker of bone formation, serum osteocalcin concentrations were also measured. Mean serum PICP and urinary Pyd cross-link concentrations were significantly greater than adult concentrations. Future growth velocity, increase in bone area, and bone mass accretion rates were not associated with PICP, Pyd cross-link, or osteocalcin concentrations. Growth velocity during the 3 months preceding sample collection correlated with serum PICP, Pyd/kg, and osteocalcin concentrations (r = 0.474, p < 0.001; r = 0.379, p < 0.001; and r = 0.516, p < 0.001, respectively). Previous increase in bone area correlated with serum PICP concentrations (r = 0.359, p = 0.01). The relationship between the infant's previous bone mass accretion rate and PICP was of borderline significance (r = 0.281, p = 0.055). In summary, normative data for PICP, Pyd cross-link concentrations, and parameters of bone growth are provided for infants 1–18 months of age and indicate that these markers reflect past and current bone metabolism and may be helpful in monitoring bone disorders in infants.