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Neonatal Med > Volume 17(2); 2010 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society of Neonatology 2010;17(2):224-231.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5385/jksn.2010.17.2.224    Published online November 15, 2010.
The Clinical Characteristics According to the Risk Factors of Idiopathic Nonhemolytic Hyperbilirubinemia.
Sookhyun Park, Jihyun Kang, Soonhak Kwon, Hengmi Kim, Yongsun Kim
1Department of Pediatrics, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. hmkim@knu.ac.kr
2Department of Radiology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Hospital readmissions have recently increased due to early hospital discharge and increased trends in breast-feeding. Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia can lead to fatal permanent neurological sequelae without appropriate management. Early detection and intervention are critical. We evaluated the clinical features, risk factors, and brain MRI findings of Korean newborns with idiopathic nonhemolytic hyperbilirubinemia to determine the optimal management policy.
A retrospective review of the medical records of 79 newborns with idiopathic nonhemolytic hyperbilirubinemia was performed at the NICU of the Kyungpook National University Hospital from January 2006 to September 2009. All patients were 35 or more weeks of gestation, and their peak level of serum total bilirubin was more than 20 mg/dL.
The mean gestational age was 38(+3)+/-1(+4) weeks, and the mean age on admission was 8.8+/-4.0 days. The mean body weight (3,105+/-479 g) was decreased by 2.8+/-6.4 percent compared to the mean birth weight (3,174+/-406 g). There were no statistically significant differences for the peak serum bilirubin level or the duration and effects of phototherapy between the patients with and without risk factors, which included: breastfeeding, cephalohematoma, subdural hemorrhage, and/or ABO incompatibility. Patients were grouped according to change of body weight. Group I consisted of patients that gained weight compared to birth weight, and group II of patients that lost weight compared to birth weight. There were significant differences in the peak serum total bilirubin level between the two groups. Thirty nine patients had brain MRI evaluation; 21 patients had bilateral symmetric signal intensity increases in the globus pallidus compared to adjacent corticospinal tract and putamen on T1-weighted images.
Bilirubin encephalopathy is preventable with early screening and proper management. Parents require instruction on feeding practices and follow-up to prevent complications from idiopathic nonhemolytic hyperbilirubinemia.
Key Words: Hyperbilirubinemia; Bilirubin encephalopathy; Newborns


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