Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the etiology in neonates admitted with prolonged jaundice.
Materials and Method: Neonates with prolonged jaundice were included to this prospective study designed between January 2007 and December 2007. Prolonged jaundice was defined as total bilirubin level >5 mg/dL in newborns older than 14 days of age. After detailed history and physical examination, blood tests including blood groups of baby and mother, total, direct and indirect bilirubin, complete blood count (CBC), blood smear, reticulocyte count, Coombs test, serum aspartat transaminase (AST) level, serum alanin transaminase (ALT) level, viral markers, thyroid function tests, and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6 PD) level and routine urine analysis with urine culture were performed in all newborns.
Results: A total of 154 neonates were enrolled to the study. The most frequent cause of prolonged jaundice was breast milk jaundice (53%). It was followed by urinary tract infections and clinical sepsis (29%), hemolytic causes due to blood group incompetency (10%) and congenital hypothyroidism (8%). However, there were no significant differences between etiology and mean bilirubin levels.
Conclusion: It is important to determine the etiology and to plan therapy according to etiology is important in newborns with prolonged jaundice. Breast milk jaundice, urinary tract infection and sepsis, hypothyroidism and hemolytic causes must be considered as the main etiology in newborns with prolonged jaundice. (Journal of Current Pediatrics 2008; 6: 99-103)
Key words: Prolonged jaundice, newborn, etiology