In recent years there have been numerous papers published reexamining various concepts regarding unconjugated bilirubin and its apparent toxicity. Overall, results of these studies have shown that measurement of serum levels of unconjugated, conjugated, and/or total bilirubin may not be adequate for assessing the risk for kernicterus in newborn jaundiced infants. Especially measuring total bilirubin does not assess the contribution of unconjugated and conjugated bilirubin. It is assumed that in newborn infants the majority is unconjugated. Also not evaluated by either method is the contribution of “free” unbound to albumin bilirubin. It is this moiety of bilirubin, free and unbound to albumin which can move easily and rapidly into brain tissue.
KeywordsBilirubin Level Unconjugated Bilirubin Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinemia Bilirubin Encephalopathy Free Bilirubin
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