In a previous communication1 we expressed the opinion that jaundice of the nuclei of the brain, a condition frequently referred to as kernikterus, is the result of an injury to those cellular masses during which they become stained secondarily with bile pigments. Pigmentation in this condition probably occurs in the same way that intravital dyes generally localize in zones of injury. It was pointed out that kernikterus occurs almost exclusively in association with icterus gravis neonatorum and that infection may be the etiologic factor in many cases of the latter condition.
Conceptions of the pathogenesis of the underlying cerebral injury are, at best, hypothetic. Among the possible pathogenic factors may be mentioned: (1) postinfectious encephalitic processes; (2) cerebral birth trauma or asphyxia and (3) cerebral cellular maldevelopment. Whether the bile pigments, aside from their staining properties, play a significant rôle in the subsequent evolution of the clinical or anatomic
ZIMMERMAN HM, YANNET H. CEREBRAL SEQUELAE OF ICTERUS GRAVIS NEONATORUM AND THEIR RELATION TO KERNIKTERUS. Am J Dis Child. 1935;49(2):418-430. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1935.01970020133014