Kernicterus is a bilirubin -induced brain dysfunction. The term was coined in by Schmorl. Bilirubin is a naturally occurring substance in the body of humans and many other animals, but it is neurotoxic when its concentration in the blood is too high, a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia.
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NCBI Bookshelf. Neonatal Jaundice. Jaundice is one of the most common conditions requiring medical attention in newborn babies.
This article has been fact checked by a Board Certified Pediatrician. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom. For any content issues please Contact Us. While that may be true in some instances, in other cases a severe case of jaundice can lead to brain damage, which can cause cerebral palsy.
Kernicterus is a type of brain damage most often seen in babies. This is known as newborn jaundice. Kernicterus is much rarer.
Infant jaundice is yellow discoloration of a newborn baby's skin and eyes. Infant jaundice occurs because the baby's blood contains an excess of bilirubin bil-ih-ROO-bina yellow pigment of red blood cells. Infant jaundice is a common condition, particularly in babies born before 38 weeks' gestation preterm babies and some breast-fed babies.
While jaundice is highly treatable, it can cause brain damage in infants if left untreated. Jaundice is a condition that causes your skin and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow. Jaundice occurs when your body has too much or can't properly process bilirubin, a yellow chemical in hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your red blood cells.
Jaundice is the yellow color seen in the skin of many newborns. In some babies, the liver might not be developed enough to efficiently get rid of bilirubin. This yellow coloring is called jaundice.
In jaundice, the skin and whites of the eyes look yellow. Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin a yellow pigment in the blood—a condition called hyperbilirubinemia. Bilirubin is formed when hemoglobin the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen is broken down as part of the normal process of recycling old or damaged red blood cells.
A more recent article on jaundice is available. Organizing the differential diagnosis by prehepatic, intrahepatic, and posthepatic causes may help make the work-up more manageable. Prehepatic causes of jaundice include hemolysis and hematoma resorption, which lead to elevated levels of unconjugated indirect bilirubin.