Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Yellow Eyes Child Underlying Cause

Bilirubin is produced from the breakdown of hemoglobin, which is the molecule that carries oxygen inside red blood cells. The liver processes the bilirubin and it is removed from the body in the stool. Elevated levels of bilirubin lead to yellow staining of the skin, called jaundice. More than half of all babies appear slightly jaundiced on the second to third day of life.

Jaundice may occur under the following circumstances:

  • Increased breakdown of red blood cells
  • Poor processing of bilirubin by the liver
  • Blockage of the flow of bilirubin from the liver to the intestine

Diseases that may cause jaundice in children include:

Drugs that can cause jaundice in children include:

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Yellow Eyes Child References
  1. Ahlfors CE, Wennberg RP. Bilirubin-albumin binding and neonatal jaundice. Semin Perinatol. 2004 Oct;28(5):334-9. [15686264]
  2. Moyer V, Freese DK, Whitington PF, Olson AD, Brewer F, Colletti RB, Heyman MB; North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Guideline for the evaluation of cholestatic jaundice in infants: recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Aug;39(2):115-28. [15269615]
  3. Pitiakoudis M, Mimidis K, Tsaroucha AK, Papadopoulos V, Karayiannakis A, Simopoulos C. Predictive value of risk factors in patients with obstructive jaundice. J Int Med Res. 2004 Nov-Dec;32(6):633-8. [15587757]
  4. Szabo P, Wolf M, Bucher HU, Haensse D, Fauchere JC, Arlettaz R. Assessment of jaundice in preterm neonates: comparison between clinical assessment, two transcutaneous bilirubinometers and serum bilirubin values. Acta Paediatr. 2004 Nov;93(11):1491-5. [15513578]
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