Background: One of the major purposes of newborn screening for 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21OHD) is preventing life-threatening adrenal crisis. However, the details of adrenal crisis in newborns are not precisely documented. Aim: We aimed to clarify the clinical details of salt-wasting in newborn 21OHD patients. Methods: Based on the follow-up survey of the screening in Tokyo from 1989 to 2017, we retrospectively analysed the conditions of classical 21OHD neonates before the initiation of therapy. Results: One hundred classical 21OHD patients (55 male, 45 female) were analysed. The age at the first hospital visit was 0–20 days with sex difference (male: 9.0 ± 3.5 days; female: 6.2 ± 3.9 days). Thirty-seven (37.4%) patients exhibited severe salt-wasting (SSW), that is, Na < 130 mEq/L, K > 7 mEq/L or Na/K ratio < 20; except for one case, SSW developed in or after the second week of life. The serum concentrations of Na, K and Na/K were linearly correlated with age in days (R2 =.38,.25, and.34 respectively), suggesting that the risk of SSW increases linearly without a threshold. The age at which the regression lines reached Na < 130 mEq/L, K > 7 mEq/L and Na/K < 20 was approximately coincided, 11.1, 12.3 and 11.2 days, respectively. All SSW patients exhibited decreased body weight from birth in their second week of life. Conclusion: Our data revealed that the risk of developing SSW increases during the second week of life without a threshold, and for preventing SSW, early intervention, ideally during first week of life, is desirable. An increased body weight in the second week of life indicates the absence of SSW.
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