Bronze baby syndrome an infrequent complication of phototherapy: a case report

G. Shiva Prasad, B Sri Lalitha Savithri, Sadasiba Padhy, Rajesh Kumar Sethi


Phototherapy is a common mode of treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Bronze baby syndrome is an infrequent complication of phototherapy. The characteristic feature is a grayish-brown discoloration of the skin, plasma and urine. The pigment responsible for the discoloration has not been properly identified and pathogenesis remains still unelucidated. The bronze color disappears spontaneously and the findings are compared to other causes of dusky-hued skin in the neonate. The bronze baby syndrome is usually innocuous but can signal life-threatening disease for which investigations should be performed routinely.


Bronze baby syndrome, Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, Phototherapy

Full Text:



Kopelman AE, Brown RS, Odell GB. The Bronze Baby syndrome: a complication of phototherapy. J Pediatr. 1972;81:466.

Onishi S, Itoh S, Isobe K, Togari H, Kitoh H, Nishimura Y. Mechanism of development of bronze baby syndrome in neonates treated with phototherapy. Pediatrics 1982;69:273‑6.

Rubaltelli FF, Jori G, Reddi E. Bronze Baby syndrome: a new porphyrin-related disorder. Pediatr Res. 1983;17:327-330.

Cuvellier JC, Gottrand F, Largillière C, Farriaux JP. The bronze baby syndrome apropos of 3 cases. Ann Pediatr (Paris). 1990;37:669‑71.

Tan KL, Jacob E. The Bronze Baby Syndrome. Acta Pediatr Scand. 1982;71(3):409-14.

Kadam RM, Prasad V. Bronze baby: A rare presentation of biliary atresia. Indian J Pediatr Dermatol. 2016;17:199-201.