Kernicterus is a condition where very high bilirubin levels in the blood are deposited in the brain tissue causing irreversible damage to the brain. In the newborn, early diagnosis and treatment of jaundice or conditions that lead to jaundice may help prevent kernicterus.
Review Date 4/25/2023
Updated by: Charles I. Schwartz, MD, FAAP, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, General Pediatrician at PennCare for Kids, Phoenixville, PA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.