Serial determinations of bilirubin-binding capacity were performed in 61 newborn infants during the first 10 days of life. 27 infants were classified as term (gestational age ≥36 weeks) and 34 as preterm (gestational age ≤33 weeks); 34 were classified as 'sick' and 27 as 'well'. Bilirubin-binding capacity was measured by Sephadex gel filtration. In relation to postnatal age, total bilirubin-binding capacity (TBBC) remained stable in well term and preterm infants, decreased slightly in sick preterm infants, and decreased significantly in sick term infants. TBBC, serum albumin, and molar binding ratio (B/A) were significantly higher in well than in sick infants in both term and preterm groups; there were no significant differences between sick term and sick preterm infants. Clinical recovery in 16 infants was associated with a significant rise in TBBC and in B/A. The data suggest that in healthy infants, the serum bilirubin-binding capacity remains relatively unchanged during the first 10 days of life. Clinically ill infants show wide patient-to-patient variability in TBBC. Because of the tendency of TBBC to decrease with postnatal age in sick infants, repeated determinations of TBBC may be indicated for the management of sick jaundiced newborns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology