Hyperviscosity – newborn

Alternative Names

Neonatal polycythemia

Definition of Hyperviscosity – newborn

Hyperviscosity of the newborn is the slowing and blockage of blood flow that results when there are too many red blood cells in an infant’s blood.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hyperviscosity can occur when the percentage of red blood cells (RBCs) in the infant’s blood is greater than 65%. This may result from various conditions that develop before birth, such as:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Signs and tests

There may be signs of breathing problems, kidney failure, and .

Treatment

The baby will be monitored for complications of hyperviscosity. If needed, an exchange transfusion will be done to lower the amount of red blood cells that are moving through the baby’s blood vessels.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook is good for infants with mild hyperviscosity and those who receive treatment for severe hyperviscosity.

Review

Deirdre O’Reilly, MD, MPH, Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. – 9/26/2007

Blood cells

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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