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Sequelae of Neonatal Jaundice

Br Med J 1970; 3 doi: (Published 15 August 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;3:383
  1. Phyllis Culley,
  2. Jean Powell,
  3. John Waterhouse,
  4. Ben Wood


    A total of 371 newborn infants falling into 3 groups, non-haemolytic jaundice, haemolytic jaundice, and non-jaundiced controls, have been reassessed in the 6th year of life as regards neurological, audiological, and psychological function. Neurological handicap was concentrated among the infants of low birth weight and was not related to jaundice, apart from one case of athetoid cerebral palsy with deafness. No other cases of perceptive deafness were discovered. Intelligence testing on the Stanford Binet scale showed no relation between depth of jaundice and I.Q.

    These findings support the majority of reports in the literature that reduction in intelligence does not occur in non-haemolytic jaundiced babies with serum bilirubin below about 20 mg./100 ml. In haemolytic jaundice slight doubt remains. There is no indication for changing present standards for exchange transfusion.