Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency and the Benefits of Early Screening.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, the most common enzymopathy worldwide, is an insufficient amount of the G6PD enzyme, which is vital to the protection of the erythrocyte. Deficient enzyme levels lead to oxidative damage, hemolysis, and resultant severe hyperbilirubinemia. If not promptly recognized and treated, G6PD deficiency can potentially lead to bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction, acute bilirubin encephalopathy, and kernicterus. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is one of the three most common causes for pathologic hyperbilirubinemia. A change in migration patterns and intercultural marriages have created an increased incidence of G6PD deficiency in the United States. Currently, there is no universally mandated metabolic screening or clinical risk assessment tool for G6PD deficiency in the United States. Mandatory universal screening for G6PD deficiency, which includes surveillance and hospital-based risk assessment tools, can identify the at-risk infant and foster early identification, diagnosis, and treatment to eliminate neurotoxicity.
DelFavero, JJ; Jnah, AJ; Newberry, D
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