CC BY 4.0 · Journal of Child Science 2023; 13(01): e1-e5
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1761422
Original Article

An Implicit Cause of Prolonged Neonatal Jaundice: Vitamin B12 Deficiency

1   Division of Neonatology, Health Sciences University, Istanbul Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
2   Department of Pediatrics, Ordu University Training and Research Hospital, Ordu, Turkey
Emine Yurdakul Erturk
2   Department of Pediatrics, Ordu University Training and Research Hospital, Ordu, Turkey
1   Division of Neonatology, Health Sciences University, Istanbul Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
3   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Rize, Turkey
› Author Affiliations


Objective Prolonged jaundice is defined as a serum bilirubin level of more than 5 mg/dL, which persists at postnatal 14 days in term infants and 21 days following birth in preterm infants. Although the underlying causes cannot be found in the majority of prolonged jaundice cases, this may be the first sign of a serious issue. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the association between vitamin B12 deficiency and prolonged jaundice in newborns.

Material and Methods This descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in a university hospital between January 1, 2015 and October 1, 2020. All participants consisted of infants who were admitted to the pediatric outpatient clinics. Infants > 35 weeks of gestation and with prolonged jaundice of unknown etiology were included in the study group. The control group consisted of infants > 35 weeks of gestation without prolonged jaundice. Demographic and clinical characteristics and serum vitamin B12 levels were evaluated comparatively.

Results A total of 126 infants, 66 of whom had prolonged jaundice, were included. The mean gestational week of the study group was 38.4 ± 1.8, and the control group was 38.6 ± 1.9 weeks. There was no difference between the groups in terms of demographics and laboratory data. The vitamin B12 level of the study group was significantly lower (median = 170 pg/mL) than the control (median = 268 pg/mL).

Conclusion Based on the findings of this study, vitamin B12 deficiency was thought to be an important cause of prolonged jaundice, and further studies are needed to explain the role of vitamin B12 deficiency in the etiology of prolonged jaundice.

Publication History

Received: 27 September 2022

Accepted: 24 December 2022

Article published online:
30 January 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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