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September 28, 1929


JAMA. 1929;93(13):991-992. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710130031013

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Icterus is present to some extent in nearly all newborn infants. This statement is not intended to imply the necessary occurrence of characteristic yellow coloration of the skin, mucous membranes and fluids of the body with bile pigment, but rather an increase of the latter in the blood plasma over what may normally be expected somewhat later. The conception of such possibilities has been greatly modified by demonstrations that the bile pigments have an extra-hepatic origin, the liver serving primarily as an organ for their excretion into the bile. Before the establishment of this fact it was not so easy to conceive of icterus neonatorum as having other than hepatogenous origin. Today the hematogenous possibilities are well established. The old dictum "no icterus without liver" is no longer tenable. Hemolytic jaundice has a well founded experimental basis with abundant proof that the bile pigments can be formed in the body

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