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Newborn Metabolic Profile Associated with Hyperbilirubinemia With and Without Kernicterus

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Our objective was to assess the relationship between hyperbilirubinemia with and without kernicterus and metabolic profile at newborn screening. Included were 1,693,658 infants divided into a training or testing subset in a ratio of 3:1. Forty-two metabolites were analyzed using logistic regression (odds ratios (ORs), area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), 95% confidence intervals (CIs)). Several metabolite patterns remained consistent across gestational age groups for hyperbilirubinemia without kernicterus. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and C-18:2 were decreased, whereas tyrosine and C-3 were increased in infants across groupings. Increased C-3 was also observed for kernicterus (OR: 3.17; 95% CI: 1.18-8.53). Thirty-one metabolites were associated with hyperbilirubinemia without kernicterus in the training set. Phenylalanine (OR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.85-1.97), ornithine (OR: 0.76; 95% 0.74-0.77), and isoleucine + leucine (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.61-0.65) were the most strongly associated. This study showed that newborn metabolic function is associated with hyperbilirubinemia with and without kernicterus.

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