What is the prognosis of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?

Updated: Jun 25, 2020
  • Author: Lawrence C Wolfe, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Many people with G6PD deficiency are asymptomatic. However, case reports of acute massive hemolysis with jaundice have been reported especially in the neonatal period, leading to kernicterus and fatality. [28, 29, 30, 26, 31]

Kernicterus or bilirubin encephalopathy is a rare complication of neonatal jaundice complicated by G6PD deficiency. Kernicterus, although infrequent, has about 10% mortality and 70% long-term morbidity usually evident in infants with a bilirubin level higher than 20 mg/dL. [10]

Massive hemolysis complicating G6PD deficiency has also been reported in patients with hepatitis infections, specifically hepatitis A and E in the Indian subcontinent. [32]

A literature review by Lai et al suggested that G6PD deficiency is a risk factor for diabetes, with the risk being greater in men than in women (odds ratio of 2.22 vs 1.87, respectively). [33]

A study by Rostami-Far et al indicated that G6PD deficiency increases the likelihood of neonatal sepsis. The study involved 76 neonates with sepsis and 1214 without sepsis, with the prevalence of G6PD deficiency being significantly greater in the sepsis group than in the controls. [34]

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