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Jaundice in low birthweight infants: pathobiology and outcome
  1. J F Watchko1,
  2. M J Maisels2
  1. 1Division of Neonatology and Developmental Biology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Watchko
    Division of Neonatology and Developmental Biology, Department of Pediatrics, Magee-Women’s Hospital, 300 Halket Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA;


Jaundice in preterm, as well as full term, infants results from (a) an increased bilirubin load in the hepatocyte, (b) decreased hepatic uptake of bilirubin from the plasma, and/or (c) defective bilirubin conjugation. Hyperbilirubinaemia in preterm infants is more prevalent, more severe, and its course more protracted than in term neonates.

  • jaundice
  • kernicterus
  • prematurity
  • TSB, total serum bilirubin
  • VLBW, very low birthweight

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