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Unexplained neonatal jaundice as an early diagnostic sign of urinary tract infection

, : Unexplained neonatal jaundice as an early diagnostic sign of urinary tract infection. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 16(7): E487-E490

Hyperbilirubinemia is one of the presenting signs of bacterial infection in newborns, and the association of neonatal jaundice with urinary tract infection (UTI) has been particularly emphasized. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of UTI in asymptomatic jaundiced neonates younger than 4 weeks old. We prospectively evaluated 12 asymptomatic jaundiced and 122 healthy neonates without jaundice younger than 4 weeks old for UTI. Patients with UTI, defined as >1 colony-forming units of a single pathogen per milliliter urine obtained by bladder catheterization, were evaluated for sepsis. Of 12 asymptomatic jaundiced neonates with a mean age of 7 4 days, 15 (12.5%) had a UTI. Of 122 healthy neonates, positive urine cultures from a urine bag were found in eight cases; however on reevaluation, urine cultures from bladder catheterization were negative. The most common pathogen isolated from the UTI cases was Klebsiella pneumoniae. Also, unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia was detected in all jaundiced patients with UTI. UTI was found in 12.5% of the asymptomatic jaundiced neonates with the onset of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in the first week of life. Therefore, we suggest that urine culture should be considered as a part of the diagnostic evaluation of jaundiced neonates older than 3 days with an unexplained etiology.


PMID: 22512850

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.02.011

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