Hemolysis can be an important cause of hyperbilirubinemia in premature and term neonates. It can result from genetic abnormalities intrinsic to or factors exogenous to normal to red blood cells (RBCs). Hemolysis can lead to a relatively rapid increase in total serum/plasma bilirubin, hyperbilirubinemia that is somewhat slow to fall with phototherapy, or hyperbilirubinemia that is likely to rebound after phototherapy. Laboratory methods for diagnosing hemolysis are more difficult to apply, or less conclusive, in preterm infants. Transfusion of donor RBCs can present a bilirubin load that must be metabolized. Genetic causes can be identified by next-generation sequencing panels.
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