Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. The aim was to assess etiologic reasons for development of severe hyperbilirubinemia and define risk factors for exchange transfusion and acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE) in Şanlıurfa located in the southeast region of Turkey.Materials and methods: An observational cohort study included 115 infants with ≥35 weeks of gestation admitted with diagnosis of severe hyperbilirubinemia in a period of 18 months. Potential risk factors associated with exchange transfusion and development of ABE were analyzed.Results: Among 115 infants, 67 (58.3%) received exchange transfusion and 45 (39.1%) developed ABE. Rh isoimmunization (OR: 24.6, 95% CI = 2.2-271, P = 0.009), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) (OR: 21.1, 95% CI = 1.8-238.4, P = 0.01), early discharge (OR: 14.4, 95% CI = 4.2-48.9, P ≤ 0.001), and male sex (OR: 4.3, 95% CI = 1.3-14.1, P = 0.02) were independently associated with an increased risk for exchange transfusion. Being a refugee (OR: 6.8, 95% CI = 1.8-25.8, P = 0.005) and G6PD deficiency (OR: 9.9, 95% CI = 1.3-71.9, P = 0.02) were associated with development of ABE.Conclusion: Early discharge, Rh isoimmunization, and G6PD deficiency are significant risk factors for severe hyperbilirubinemia and exchange transfusion. Prevention of early hospital discharges, family education to increase awareness for hazardous effects of hyperbilirubinemia, and early follow-up visits after discharge would reduce the disease burden.


Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, exchange transfusion, bilirubin encephalopathy, neurotoxicity, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

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