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Neonatal hepatitis describes the appearance of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) and/or elevated liver enzymes in infants.
Blood work shows elevated levels of bilirubin (a pigment produced in the liver during the breakdown of old red blood cells), indicate a liver problem. Some babies may later be diagnosed with other liver conditions. Other children will never be given a specific diagnosis. There are different causes for neonatal hepatitis. In some cases, no specific cause can be identified. Causes for neonatal hepatitis include:
Symptoms of neonatal hepatitis include:
If your child experiences any of the symptoms of hepatitis, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Riley at IU Health will perform exams and tests to make a diagnosis.
Other tests used to make a hepatitis diagnosis include:
Treatment of neonatal hepatitis depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, supportive care, good nutrition and close follow-up care are all that is required.
Visit the websites below to find support groups and services and learn more about neonatal hepatitis.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
The Riley at IU Health Liver Support Group meets one or two times a year for a family-oriented education program and socializing. Topics include testing for liver disease, complications of liver disease, impact of chronic disease on the family, liver transplant, nutrition for liver disease and medicine for liver disease. Please call 317.944.3774 for meeting dates and times.
This website includes information and resources for families of children with newborn jaundice.
Our pediatric gastroenterologists participate in research on the treatment of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and neonatal cholestasis. Speak with your child's doctor if you would like to know more about our clinical research studies.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.