The hyperbilirubinemia of prematurity is considered to be the result of an immaturity of the glucuronyl transferase system in the liver. Although hyperbilirubinemia is common, kernicterus, in the absence of hemolytic disease is said to be rare. Thus, the indication for exchange transfusion in icterus of prematurity and the level at which it should be performed remain subjects for considerable difference of opinion.
We have recently observed the occurrence of six cases of kernicterus in small premature infants in the absence of hemolytic disease. There were five female and one male infants in the group. All six were premature, both by weight and gestational ages.
- Copyright © 1965 by the American Academy of Pediatrics