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Jaundice is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Pediatric Consult.

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  • Jaundice: a yellow or green/yellow hue to the skin, sclerae, and mucous membranes which can be appreciated at serum bilirubin levels >2 mg/dL. Intensity of color is directly related to the serum bilirubin level.
  • Unconjugated bilirubin: 80% is due to hemoglobin turnover and 20% is from degradation of hepatic and renal heme proteins. It is a hydrophobic compound that must be carried to the liver by albumin for processing.
  • Conjugated bilirubin: conjugated to glucuronic acid in the liver, a water-soluble derivative that helps lipid emulsification and absorption
  • Direct bilirubin: conjugated bilirubin plus bilirubin that is covalently bound to albumin (delta fraction)
  • Direct bilirubin is higher than a measured conjugated bilirubin and has a longer half-life.
  • Conjugated hyperbilirubinemia (direct hyperbilirubinemia): a conjugated bilirubin of >2 mg/dL or >20% of the total bilirubin


The most common causes of pathologic jaundice are as follows:

  • Newborn period: biliary atresia, idiopathic neonatal hepatitis, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, infection
  • Older child: autoimmune hepatitis, viral hepatitis, Wilson disease, biliary obstruction

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Cabana, Michael D., editor. "Jaundice." 5-Minute Pediatric Consult, 8th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617676/all/Jaundice.
Jaundice. In: Cabana MD, ed. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. 8th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617676/all/Jaundice. Accessed April 22, 2019.
Jaundice. (2019). In Cabana, M. D. (Ed.), 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617676/all/Jaundice
Jaundice [Internet]. In: Cabana MD, editors. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 22]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617676/all/Jaundice.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Jaundice ID - 617676 ED - Cabana,Michael D, BT - 5-Minute Pediatric Consult UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/617676/all/Jaundice PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 8 DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -