Neonatal jaundice in low- and middle-income countries

lessons and future directions from the 2015 Don Ostrow Trieste Yellow Retreat

Chiara Greco, Gaston Arnolda, Carlos D. Coda Zabetta, Nem-Yun Boo, Iman F. Iskander, Angela A. Okolo, Rinawati Rohsiswatmo, Steven M. Shapiro, Jon Watchko, Richard P. Wennberg, Claudio Tiribelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, defined as total serum bilirubin (TSB) ≥20 mg/dl, is associated with a higher risk of permanent neurological sequelae and death. Jaundice can and should be promptly diagnosed and treated. Reliable methods for TSB assay are not always readily available, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, making the true incidence of severe neonatal jaundice (NNJ) difficult to estimate. To gather a more comprehensive picture, a symposium addressing NNJ worldwide was organized during the 2015 Don Ostrow Trieste Yellow Retreat. Data collected by several researchers in different regions of the world were presented and differences/similarities discussed. This report points out the need for: (1) a coordinated worldwide effort to define the burden and the causes of severe NNJ and its consequences; (2) aggressive educational programs for families and health personnel to facilitate timely care-seeking, and (3) accurate diagnostics and effective phototherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • neonatal jaundice
  • severe hyperbilirubinemia
  • acute bilirubin encephalopathy
  • kernicterus
  • low- and middle-income countries

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