Transient familial hyperbilirubinemia
Toggle: English / Spanish
Transient familial hyperbilirubinemia is a metabolic disorder that is passed down through families. Babies with this disorder are born with severe jaundice.
Transient familial hyperbilirubinemia is an inherited disorder. It occurs when the body does not properly break down (metabolize) a certain form of bilirubin. Bilirubin levels rapidly build up in the body. The high levels are poisonous to the brain and can cause death.
The newborn may have:
- Yellow skin (jaundice)
- Yellow eyes (icterus)
If untreated, seizures and neurologic problems (kernicterus) may develop.
Exams and Tests
Blood tests for bilirubin levels can identify the severity of the jaundice.
with blue light is used to treat the high level of bilirubin. An is sometimes necessary if the levels are extremely high.
Babies who are treated can have a good outcome. If the condition is not treated, severe complications develop. This disorder tends to improve with time.
Death or severe brain and nervous system (neurological) problems can occur if the condition is not treated.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
This problem is most often found immediately after delivery. However, call your health care provider if you notice your baby's skin turning yellow. There are other causes for jaundice in the newborn that are easily treated.
Genetic counseling can help families understand the condition, its risks of recurring, and how to care for the person.
Phototherapy can help prevent serious complications of this disorder.
Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver tests. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 147.
LIdofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.
- Last reviewed on 8/1/2015
- Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Fullerton Genetics Center, Asheville, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.