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    Kernicterus

    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
    39 Broadway, Suite 2700
    New York, NY 10006
    USA
    Fax: (212)483-8179
    Tel: (800)465-4837
    Email: http://www.liverfoundation.org/contact/
    Internet: http://www.liverfoundation.org

    NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Office of Communications & Public Liaison
    Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
    31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
    Tel: (301)496-3583
    Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

    Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus (P.I.C.K.)
    One W. Superior Street
    Suite 2410
    Chicago, IL 60610
    USA
    Tel: (312)274-9695
    Email: info@pickonline.org
    Internet: http://www.pickonline.org/

    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
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 2/5/2008
    Copyright 1986, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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