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June 1947

KERNICTERUS: A Follow-Up Study of Thirty-Five Erythroblastotic Infants

Am J Dis Child. 1947;73(6):651-662. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1947.02020410002001
Abstract

WITH the advent of more detailed knowledge concerning the pathogenesis and treatment of erythroblastosis fetalis, interest has been focused on the possible untoward effects of a successful therapeutic regimen that may result in a live but helpless infant with kernicterus.

The term "kernicterus" was devised by Schmorl1 in 1903 in referring to what Orth1 had called "nuclear jaundice" in 1875. Orth described a primary necrosis of the brain associated with secondary bile staining and degeneration of the ganglion cells. In 1907 Bencke summarized the prevailing views concerning the relationship between cerebral injury and kernicterus, and it is of interest that one of these theories, that damage to ganglion cells is caused by ischemia (or trauma), in which area of damage there is a subsequent pigmentation, has gained wide acceptance among present day workers in the field. In 1932 Diamond and his colleagues2 linked together as a single

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