Perinatology.  2019 Jun;30(2):93-98. 10.14734/PN.2019.30.2.93.

Impact of Rotavirus Infection on Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, St.Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Rotavirus (RV) infection is a common health issue in neonatal wards. Clinical outcomes include diarrhea, fever, and poor appetite. We aimed to assess the impact of RV infection on aggravation of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and on the bilirubin response to phototherapy.
We analyzed the clinical data of 101 newborns with jaundice admitted to a neonatal ward from 2009 to 2017. Patients were divided into RV-positive and RV-negative groups, according to the RV antigen in stool samples. Statistical analyses were used to assess the RV impact on neonatal jaundice.
Fifty newborns (49.5%) had RV infection. No significant differences were found between the two groups concerning mean gestational age, birthweight, age at admission, postnatal weight loss, blood urea nitrogen, base excess, and bilirubin values at admission and duration of phototherapy. The frequency of stool pass and the hospitalization period were significantly higher in the RV-positive group (P=0.002 and P=0.009, respectively). The lower the gestational age, the greater the severe jaundice (odds ratio, 0.713; P=0.028).
The incidence of RV infection was surprisingly high in newborns with jaundice, having a significant impact on hospitalization time, but not on hyperbilirubinemia severity and phototherapy duration. Rotavirus is highly contagious therefore, screening tests for RV infection should be included as part of the evaluation of jaundiced infants admitted to neonatal ward and prevent transmission.


Neonate; Jaundice; Rotavirus; Phototherapy

MeSH Terms

Blood Urea Nitrogen
Gestational Age
Hyperbilirubinemia, Neonatal*
Infant, Newborn
Jaundice, Neonatal
Mass Screening
Rotavirus Infections*
Weight Loss



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