Objective: To determine predictors of acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE) among term infants presenting with moderate-to-severe hyperbilirubinaemia.
Methods: Babies with total serum bilirubin >15 mg/dl at the point of admission were studied in a Nigerian tertiary health facility using bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Out of 152 babies, 75 (49.3%) had ABE: 73 had ABE at presentation while two developed ABE after admission. Bivariate analysis showed that body weight <2.5 kg, outside delivery, low maternal education, low socio-economic status, severe anaemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and metabolic acidosis were significantly associated with ABE. Multivariate analysis also showed that only outside delivery, weight <2.5 kg, presence of severe anaemia and acidosis were the predictors of ABE in this cohort of term babies.
Conclusion: The identified predictors of ABE are modifiable and can be used to draw up screening tools for term babies at risk of ABE especially in the developing world.