Neonatal Jaundice Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Dec 27, 2017
  • Author: Thor WR Hansen, MD, PhD, MHA, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Important considerations

Clinicians should recognize the potential of significant jaundice to cause brain damage, even in the healthy full-term neonate.

Assess whether a "healthy full-term neonate" is both healthy and was really delivered at term.

Clinicians should personally examine an infant reported by parents or other caregivers to be significantly jaundiced.

Consider risk factors for significant jaundice when an infant is prepared for early discharge from the birth hospital, and factor such risks, if present, into the plan for follow-up of the baby.

Other conditions to be considered

Certain conditions may cause nonphysiologic jaundice. In these infants, a baseline physiologic jaundice most likely occurs, which is then exaggerated, for example, by increased enterohepatic circulation in bowel atresia, bile stasis in choledochal cyst, or increased bilirubin production in hemolytic anemias. Such conditions include the following:

Differential Diagnoses