Unexplained neonatal jaundice as an early diagnostic sign of septicemia in the newborn.

N. Linder*, I. Yatsiv, M. Tsur, I. Matoth, A. Mandelberg, B. Hoffman, R. Yevin, I. Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This prospective study was performed to determine the frequency of unexplained unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia associated with bacterial infection during the first week of life. Of 5805 infants delivered between September 1984 and December 1986, 93 jaundiced newborns without evidence of septicemia fulfilled the following criteria to be enrolled in the study: weight greater than 2500 g, gestational age greater than 38 weeks, age less than 7 days, and unexplained unconjugated bilirubin greater than 170 mumol/L (greater than 10 mg/dL) during the first 48 hours of life and/or greater than 255 mumol/L (greater than 15 mg/dL) thereafter. Evaluation for septicemia included blood and urine cultures, and white cell and thrombocyte counts. The study disclosed three (3.2%) infants who developed septicemia before any clinical suspicion had been aroused. It is concluded that bacterial infections should be considered a possible cause of neonatal unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia during the first week of life, regardless of the clinical condition of the infant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-327
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes


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