Pulmonary excretion of carbon monoxide in the human infant as an index of bilirubin production. I. Effects of gestational and postnatal age and some common neonatal abnormalities

J Pediatr. 1979 Jun;94(6):952-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(79)80231-0.


Using a single pass, flow-through system, the pulmonary excretion rate of endogenously produced carbon monoxide was measured as an index of bilirubin production in human infants with varying gestational and postnatal ages and with a variety of clinical abnormalities. No significant difference in VECO was found related to sex or gestational age. The mean VECO for a small group of Oriental infants was significantly increased. VECO decreased with increasing postnatal age. As expected, infants with hemolytic disease of the newborn had a markedly increased mean VECO. Infants with jaundice of unknown etiology also had an elevated mean VECO, implying that increased bilirubin production may be a factor contributing to the "nonphysiologic" bilirubinemias of these infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bilirubin / blood*
  • Carbon Dioxide*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Respiration*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Bilirubin