Jaundice Conjugation: Diagnosis, Causes, Treatment

Jaundice is not an independent ailment, it isonly a symptom of some pathologies. In many cases, it can be physiological, that is, unrelated to any disease (in newborns). The cause of this condition is an increase in the blood of bilirubin, which gives the icteric color to the skin, mucous membranes and sclera.

Jaundice: Species

This state is inextricably linked with the content of theblood bilirubin. However, the reasons for its increase may be different. In some cases, the establishment of a cause allows one to suspect a pathology in the body, which requires immediate treatment. Depending on the variant of the bilirubin metabolism disturbance, several types of jaundice can be distinguished:

  1. Conjugation jaundice, which is a consequence of impaired bilirubin binding. It occurs in newborns.
  2. Parenchymal jaundice, which develops in a number ofpathologies of the liver. The defeat of the parenchyma of this organ (death of functional cells - hepatocytes) makes it impossible to capture bilirubin and its further exchange.
  3. Obstructive jaundice, which occurs whenviolation of the outflow of bile. It is associated with diseases that contribute to the closure or narrowing of the lumen of the bile duct. This phenomenon occurs in cholelithiasis or tumor formation.
  4. Hemolytic jaundice is a pathology associated withdecay of erythrocytes. Bilirubin is a pigment that occurs during the breakdown of hemoglobin, so an increased lysis of red blood cells leads to an increase in its level.
  5. Nuclear jaundice - independent and mosta dangerous sight. Occurs in the event that the fetus was exposed to hypoxia during development or asphyxia during labor. Also, the cause may be infection in a pregnant woman. The danger is that the pigment accumulates in the nerve cells of the brain, which leads to various neurological disorders and can even lead to a lethal outcome.

treatment of conjunctive jaundice

Conjugation of jaundice in newborns

Jaundice occurring in newborns isPhysiological, since it is not associated with a pathological process. It develops, as a rule, 3-5 days after birth. Normally, red blood cells are subject to constant renewal, which is accompanied by hemolysis - their destruction. In adults, the liver is completely formed, so bilirubin, which is released during the decay of these cells, has time to bind and does not accumulate in the blood.

The clinical picture in infants is associated withintensive renewal of erythrocytes and relative insufficiency of the liver. This organ is not yet fully formed, especially such jaundice occurs in premature infants. Bilirubin begins to accumulate in the blood, and then accumulates in the skin and mucous membranes, giving them a characteristic coloration. The peak falls on the third-fifth day. Then these symptoms pass, as the exchange of bilirubin gradually normalizes.

patients with jaundice

What is this condition?

Conjugation jaundice (ICD-10) separately ininternational classification is not allocated. It has the P59.0 encoding as neonatal jaundice, which is the result of premature delivery, and is associated with hyperbilirubinemia. This process is described in more detail above.


Conjugation form of the disease occurs more often inchildren. This is transient jaundice in newborns, as well as a condition that develops in preterm infants and children who have undergone asphyxiation. The causes of the problem are often endocrine pathology and heredity (for example, the syndromes of Lucea-Driscopa and Gilbert). The same group includes medication jaundice.

conjugated jaundice

Bilirubin - what is it?

This name has received a pigment, which isproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin. At a certain concentration, it leads to the staining of the skin and mucous membranes. The level of bilirubin is the most important diagnostic criterion, as its increase allows us to identify any pathological process and start treatment. The amount of pigment reflects the state of the liver and biliary tract.

In the body, bilirubin occurs in two forms -direct and indirect. The first is the product of the transformation of the second. Indirect bilirubin is toxic and absorbed by fats. It is not excreted from the body. If the metabolism is disturbed, this form can accumulate, having a toxic effect on the body. Normally it turns into direct non-toxic bilirubin. Jaundice conjugation occurs due to a violation of its metabolism.

bilirubin is increased which means

Exchange of bilirubin

The source of this pigment is hemoglobin -the main component of red blood cells. In the decay of red blood cells, hemoglobin is released and is cleaved. This process is carried out by macrophages in specialized organs (bone marrow, liver and spleen). As a result of the cleavage, heme and globin are formed. The first is transformed into biliverdin, the precursor of indirect bilirubin. Its formation from biliverdin is associated with the activity of special enzymes, among them - cytochrome P-450, hemoxygenase. Further indirect bilirubin is sent to the liver cells, where it binds to glucuronic acid. Thus, direct bilirubin is formed, which accumulates in the gallbladder, and then is excreted into the duodenum. Intestinal microflora contributes to its recovery to urobilinogen. Its part is susceptible to absorption, the residues are transformed into sterocobilinogen and are excreted with feces, giving it a characteristic coloration.

Laboratory tests can show thatbilirubin is increased. What means? An increase in its level can be associated with a disease, so an early diagnostic examination is required. The physiological increase in the level of bilirubin is observed in newborns.

Clinical picture

Despite the fact that the newborns are characterized byincreased bilirubin, clinical manifestations are not fixed by all. The symptom of this condition is the appearance of icteric color. It is detected not only on the skin, but also on the mucous membranes. Physiological jaundice of conjugation passes without a trace, but if this does not happen, one should suspect a pathology.


Jaundice can be not only physiologicalcondition, but also a symptom of a disease. If the child has a specific coloration of the skin and mucous membranes, he needs constant observation from the pediatrician. Also in such cases it is necessary to control the level of bilirubin. As a rule, in the first days of life, its amount reaches 60 μmol / l, but no more. Further, this level rises (for 3-7 days).

Usually, increasing bilirubin is safe and nothas a toxic effect on the baby's body, but this level should not exceed the so-called boundary value of 205 μmol / l. Bilirubin increased - what does this change mean? Jaundice is pathological and requires urgent treatment. If this index is within the norm, but jaundice does not pass a long time, it is considered to be conjugation, that is, it is the reason for the immaturity of the enzyme systems of the liver.

conjunctive jaundice in newborns

Treatment of conjunctive jaundice

After conducting the survey,jaundice is physiological or pathological. The first does not require any treatment and ends on its own and without a trace. Prolonged jaundice (conjugation) also passes by itself, when the enzyme systems of the liver finally ripen. However, if the amount of bilirubin exceeds the critical level, pathology should be identified. It can be viral hepatitis, bile duct obstruction or hemolytic jaundice.

Viral hepatitis

Such pathology can be transmitted to the child frominfected mother. As a result, the baby is born with hepatitis of viral nature. The effect of the virus in the early stages of intrauterine development may additionally lead to physical abnormalities. A feature of the disease, in contrast to hepatitis in adults, is the most severe course. Pathology can manifest itself before the onset of jaundice. Often there is an increase in temperature, a worsening of appetite and small catarrhal phenomena. In a number of cases, the pre-jaundiced period in infants is asymptomatic.

Hepatitis can be suspected due toDetection of changes in color of urine and feces. A clinical blood test is characterized by a decrease in the level of leukocytes and the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation. Monocytes are slightly increased. With icteric form there is a significant increase in bilirubin and thymol test. For early diagnosis of the disease, a study is made of the activity of liver enzymes. The severity of the process is indicated by a sharp decrease in prothrombin and an increase in ammonia.

Treatment of children is carried out, as a rule, inhospital. Therapy combines antiviral drugs, hepatoprotectors, vitamins, as well as cholagogue. It is recommended to conduct detoxification therapy. Among non-pharmacological methods that complement pharmacotherapy, bed rest and rest are needed.

Hemolytic jaundice

This pathology, associated with hemolysis of red blood cells,is very dangerous. The reason is the discrepancy between the Rh factor of the mother and the child, that is, the Rhesus-conflict. Pathology often leads to death - the mortality rate is 60-80%. In addition, the presence of Rh-conflict can lead to spontaneous miscarriage.


Prevent the occurrence of jaundice helpadherence to pregnancy and breastfeeding, regular pediatric examinations are also necessary. If jaundice of premature babies still developed, regular monitoring of the level of bilirubin in the blood is necessary.


Patients with jaundice differ in characteristic colorationskin and mucous membranes. This symptom can talk about the presence of the disease or reflect the physiological changes in the body (transient jaundice of newborns).


If jaundice is detected,immediate determination of the level of bilirubin and further diagnosis. Conjugation jaundice in newborns takes longer than transient, but it is also safe. The specialist should calm the parents and prescribe a survey. As a rule, no complications are observed.

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