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Bronze baby syndrome
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Bronze baby syndrome

Contributors: Arin Isenstein MD, David Dasher MD, Jeffrey D. Bernhard MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Bronze baby syndrome is a rare complication seen in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia who are being treated with phototherapy. Affected neonates develop gray-brown skin, serum, and urine within a week of initiation of phototherapy. All neonates with bronze baby syndrome have hyperbilirubinemia necessitating phototherapy, and most have concomitant liver dysfunction.

The exact cause of the gray-brown discoloration in bronze baby syndrome is uncertain. Products may accumulate as a result of poor excretion secondary to liver dysfunction.

The discoloration presents after exposure to phototherapy and fades after phototherapy is discontinued. Many affected infants have no sequelae. Others develop kernicterus. Fatalities have been reported.

Codes

ICD10CM:
P83.88 – Other specified conditions of integument specific to newborn

SNOMEDCT:
206553008 – Bronze baby

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Carbon baby syndrome – Also known as universal acquired melanosis; refers to diffuse hyperpigmentation caused by increased melanin in the epidermis and melanophages in the papillary dermis.
  • Cyanosis – Blue discoloration that can be secondary to cardiac abnormalities, pulmonary abnormalities, polycythemia, methemoglobinemia, or hypothermia.
  • Gray baby syndrome – Seen in neonates exposed to chloramphenicol. Often fatal from associated shock.
  • Jaundice – Yellow or yellow-brown discoloration.

Best Tests

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Therapy

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References

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Last Updated:02/03/2022
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Bronze baby syndrome
A medical illustration showing key findings of Bronze baby syndrome : Brown color, Widespread distribution, Hyperbilirubinemia
Clinical image of Bronze baby syndrome - imageId=1152246. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A generalized gray-brown appearance to the face.'
A generalized gray-brown appearance to the face.
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.