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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Child born with high bilirubin levels. Visible vein on the face. Phototherapy needed. Is it possible to detect kernicterus induced brain damage?

child was born with mildly elevated bilirubin . Now age 5 and still has apparent bilirubin-like redness and 1.5cm visible vein on face (about 1-2 inches above center of eyebrows). Barely noticeable until blood pressure rises from heavy exercise or high ambient temperature. Newborn also has similar residual redness same spot, but no visible vein. Middle child has darker complexion , but no indication of any residual issue, but had required phototherapy as infant. 1) Is this really bilirubin-related? 2) Is there a test to see if a child had prior minimal Kernicterus induced brain damage , if there s such a thing as a very small impact?
Tue, 5 Mar 2013
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Pediatrician 's  Response
Hi,

Mild elevated bilirubin does lead to kernicterus .Kernicterus leads to brain damage and sine your son is grown normally physically and mentally he never had kernicterus.the vein you are talking about must just normal variant or probably is some hemangioma which is a collection of vein under the skin hence becomes more prominent when heavy exercise or high temp.you might need to discuss it with your Docter about it so he can examine it.

Middle child of your being on the darker side is also not due to phototherapy probably is familial. The test required if a child suffers from kernicterus is clinically assessed with high pitch cry,convulsions at the neonatal period ,MRI brain can be done to find the the brain damage.
Bye
Take care.
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