An Implicit Cause of Prolonged Neonatal Jaundice: Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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Aygun E., Sayman O. A., Erturk E. Y., Semerci S. Y., KANBUROĞLU M. K.

JOURNAL OF CHILD SCIENCE, vol.13, no.01, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 01
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-0043-1761422
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: prolonged jaundice, vitamin B 12 deficiency, newborn, HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA, MANAGEMENT
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Objective Prolonged jaundice is defined as a serum bilirubin level of more than 5 mg/dL, which persists at postnatal 14 days in term infants and 21 days following birth in preterm infants. Although the underlying causes cannot be found in the majority of prolonged jaundice cases, this may be the first sign of a serious issue. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the association between vitamin B12 deficiency and prolonged jaundice in newborns.Material and Methods This descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in a university hospital between January 1, 2015 and October 1, 2020. All participants consisted of infants who were admitted to the pediatric outpatient clinics. Infants > 35 weeks of gestation and with prolonged jaundice of unknown etiology were included in the study group. The control group consisted of infants > 35 weeks of gestation without prolonged jaundice. Demographic and clinical characteristics and serum vitamin B12 levels were evaluated comparatively.Results A total of 126 infants, 66 of whom had prolonged jaundice, were included. The mean gestational week of the study group was 38.4 +/- 1.8, and the control group was 38.6 +/- 1.9 weeks. There was no difference between the groups in terms of demographics and laboratory data. The vitamin B12 level of the study group was significantly lower (median = 170 pg/mL) than the control (median = 268 pg/mL).Conclusion Based on the findings of this study, vitamin B12 deficiency was thought to be an important cause of prolonged jaundice, and further studies are needed to explain the role of vitamin B12 deficiency in the etiology of prolonged jaundice.