Nephrogenesis is a complex process of nephron formation and maturation that can be compromised by preterm delivery and intrauterine growth restriction. This study aimed to evaluate and compare urinary Cys-C levels with renal volume in a cohort of preterm and term twins, adequate for gestational age or intrauterine growth restricted, to investigate their values in different conditions of nephrogenesis. Methods: The study was performed on twins at 30-40 days of postnatal corrected age: renal volumes were measured by 3D ultrasound technology and urine samples were analyzed for Cystatin-C. A follow-up was performed by Cystatin-C. Results: Renal volumes in preterm and intrauterine growth-restricted twins showed values significantly lower than those observed in term twins and were inversely correlated to urinary Cystatin-C levels. During the follow-up, intrauterine growth-restricted twins showed amplified levels of urinary Cystatin-C; in contrast, invariable or decreased levels were observed in adequate for gestational age twins. Conclusions: Urinary Cystatin-C, evaluated when intrauterine/extrauterine nephrogenesis could be considered complete, concurrently with renal volume assessment can improve the identification of neonates with initial kidney impairment. Its potential value as a useful marker in monitoring physiological/pathological renal conditions could be considered, mainly for neonates at elevated risk of developing long-term renal diseases.
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