Gilbert syndrome in a young boy with thalassemia trait: a rare association

Debashree Priyadarshini, Amit Kumar Satapathy, Samarendra Mahapatro


Gilbert syndrome (GS) is a mild benign disease characterized by asymptomatic unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in absence of liver disease or hemolysis. This is the most common disorder associated with bilirubin metabolism with autosomal recessive inheritance. It usually precipitates during episodes of dehydration, fasting or stress like intercurrent illnesses. Here, we are reporting a case of Gilbert syndrome in 12 yrs old boy with thalassemia trait who presented with history of persistent jaundice for last 10 months. He had disproportionately higher concentration of unconjugated bilirubin which cannot be attributed to either disorder alone. Authors considered the possibility of Gilbert syndrome after ruling out hemolytic anemia. Though genetic testing is considered to be gold standard for diagnosis of Gilbert syndrome but availability is an issue. Calorie restriction test and nicotinic acid provocation test has been used to confirm GS too. Rifampicin test, another simple test which has been described in literature though not widely used in diagnosis. It has high sensitivity and specificity too. Authors had performed rifampicin test in our index case to confirm the diagnosis of GS. Here, authors wish to highlight the patients with both GS and thalassemia trait has higher bilirubin concentrations and is more likely to be icteric than either defect alone.


Gilbert syndrome, Hyperbilirubinemia, Rifampicin test, Thalassemia trait, Uridine diphosphate glucuronyl transferase

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