Bilirubin Study

Demographic, Metabolic and Genomic Description of Neonates with Severe Hyperbilirubinemia

Protocol Description

The purpose of this study is to learn if there are genetic factors in some newborns that cause severe jaundice, a yellow coloring of the skin that occurs when bilirubin builds up in the body. While most jaundice in newborns is not serious, occasionally a baby will have a very high bilirubin level that can get into the brain and cause permanent damage. This study will see if a blood test can predict which babies are more likely than others to develop serious jaundice, which may ultimately lead to earlier intervention to prevent brain damage.

Eligibility Criteria

Infants admitted to the newborn nursery or to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Magee-Womens Hospital and who weighed more than 2 kilograms (4 pounds 6 ounces) at birth and were less than 7 days old were eligible to participate in the study.
Boys: Less than 7 days old
Girls: Less than 7 days old


Small blood samples were required within the first 7 days of life for tests of thyroid function and to seek potential abnormalities in three specific genes related how the body processes bilirubin. Other data was collected concerning the infants’ birth history, lab results, hearing screen and other relevant information.
Visits: None beyond normal clinical care
Duration: Not applicable

Status: Complete

Source(s) of Support

Pediatrix Medical Group

Primary Investigator

Jon F. Watchko, MD

Contact Information

Jon F. Watchko, MD