Definitions for kernicterus
an abnormal accumulation of bile pigment in the brain and other nerve tissue; causes yellow staining and tissue damage
Damage to the brain centres of infants caused by increased levels of unconjugated-indirect bilirubin which is free (not bound to albumin).
Origin: Kern + -icterus.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A term used pathologically to describe BILIRUBIN staining of the BASAL GANGLIA; BRAIN STEM; and CEREBELLUM and clinically to describe a syndrome associated with HYPERBILIRUBINEMIA. Clinical features include athetosis, MUSCLE SPASTICITY or hypotonia, impaired vertical gaze, and DEAFNESS. Nonconjugated bilirubin enters the brain and acts as a neurotoxin, often in association with conditions that impair the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER (e.g., SEPSIS). This condition occurs primarily in neonates (INFANT, NEWBORN), but may rarely occur in adults. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p613)