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PHYSIOLOGIC HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA IN PREMATURE INFANTS

WILLIAM OBRINSKY, M.D.; ELAINE L. ALLEN, M.D.; ESTHER E. ANDERSON, M.D.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;87(3):305-318. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050090293005.
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THE PRESENT paper represents an attempt to investigate, with more precise quantitative data than have been available previously, the well-established clinical impression that physiologic jaundice occurring neonatally in prematures is of greater intensity and longer duration than that observed in infants born at term.* Clinical icterus is stated also to occur more frequently in prematures.† Physiologic jaundice of the newborn is now generally attributed to hepatic failure to excrete bilirubin completely.‡ The assumption that prematures demonstrate greater deficiencies in hepatic excretory ability than normal newborns is consistent with observations of other functional differences between these two groups.9 Such an assumption is also inherent in the concept that the "degree of hyperbilirubinemia is a measure of the functional maturity of the infant at the time of birth"10 and with the statement appearing in an older text that "in general, body weight and the intensity of the icterus are inversely

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