Kernicterus

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Kernicterus is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Bilirubin Encephalopathy

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Kernicterus is a rare neurological disorder characterized by excessive levels of bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia) during infancy. Bilirubin is an orange-yellow bile pigment that is a byproduct of the natural breakdown of hemoglobin in red blood cells (hemolysis). Toxic levels of bilirubin may accumulate in the brain, potentially resulting in a variety of symptoms and physical findings. These symptoms may include lack of energy (lethargy), poor feeding habits, fever, and vomiting. Affected infants may also experience the absence of certain reflexes (e.g., Moro reflex, etc.); mild to severe muscle spasms including those in which the head and heels are bent backward and the body bows forward (opisthotonus); and/or uncontrolled involuntary muscle movements (spasticity). In some cases, infants with kernicterus may develop life-threatening complications.

Resources

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637
Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

American Liver Foundation
75 Maiden Lane
Suite 603
New York, NY 10038
USA
Tel: (212)668-1000
Fax: (212)483-8179
Tel: (800)465-4837
Email: info@liverfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.liverfoundation.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Endocrine Diseases Metabolic Diseases Branch
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
Tel: (301)654-3810
Fax: (301)496-7422
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niddk.nih.gov

Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus
One Superior Place
Suite 2410
Chicago, IL 60610
USA
Tel: (312)274-9695
Email: karendixon@pickonline.org
Internet: http://www.PICKonline.org

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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