Skip to main content


Log in

Hypocalcemia in the Newborn

  • Symposium on AIIMS Protocols in Neonatology-I
  • Published:
The Indian Journal of Pediatrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Hypocalcemia is a frequently observed clinical and laboratory abnormality in neonates. Ionic calcium is crucial for many biochemical processes including blood coagulation, neuromuscular excitability, cell membrane integrity, and many of the cellular enzymatic activities. Healthy term infants undergo a physiological nadir in serum calcium levels by 24-48 h of age. This nadir may drop to hypocalcemic levels in high-risk neonates including infants of diabetic mothers, preterm infants and infants with perinatal asphyxia. The early onset hypocalcemia which presents within 72 h requires treatment with calcium supplementation for at least 72 h. In contrast, late onset hypocalcemia usually presents after 7 days and requires longer term therapy.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Schauberger CW, Pitkin RM. Maternal-perinatal calcium relationships. Obstet Gynecol. 1979;53:74–6.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Linarelli LG, Bobik J, Bobik C. Newborn urinary cyclic AMP and developmental responsiveness to parathyroid harmone. Pediatrics. 1972;50:14–23.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Hillman L, Rajanasathit S, Slatopolsky E, Haddad JG. Serial measurements of serum calcium, magnesium, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and 25-hydroxy-vitamin D in premature and term infants during the first week of life. Pediatr Res. 1977;11:789–844.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Salle BL, Delvin EE, Lapillonne A, Bishop NJ, Glorieux FH. Perinatal metabolism of vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71:1317S–24S.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Singh J, Moghal N, Pearce SH, Cheetham T. The investigation of hypocalcaemia and rickets. Arch Dis Child. 2003;88:403–7.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Oden J, Bourgeois M. Neonatal endocrinology. Indian J Pediatr. 2000;67:217–23.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Schwartz R, Teramo KA. Effects of diabetic pregnancy on the fetus and newborn. Semin Perinatol. 2000;24:120–35.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Nekvasil R, Stejskal J, Tuma A. Detection of early onset neonatal hypocalcemia in low birth weight infants by Q-Tc and Q-oTc interval measurement. Acta Paediatr Acad Sci Hung. 1980;21:203–10.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Marx SJ. Hyperparathyroid and hypoparathyroid disorders. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:1863–75.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Sharma J, Bajpai A, Kabra M, Menon PSN. Hypocalcemia–clinical, biochemical, radiological profile and follow-up in a tertiary hospital in India. Indian Pediatr. 2002;39:276–82.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Rigo J, Curtis MD. Disorders of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium metabolism. In: Martin RJ, Fanaroff AA, Walsh MC, editors. Neonatal Perinatal Medicine- Diseases of the fetus and infant. 8th ed. Pihladelphia: Elsevier; 2006. p. 1508–14.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ashok Deorari.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jain, A., Agarwal, R., Sankar, M.J. et al. Hypocalcemia in the Newborn. Indian J Pediatr 77, 1123–1128 (2010).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: