What are the signs and symptoms 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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Most patients with G6PD deficiency are asymptomatic. Neonatal jaundice may be seen in newborns.

Patients may experience episodes of intravascular hemolysis and consequent anemia, triggered by infections, medicines that induce oxidative stresses, fava beans, and ketoacidosis. Hemolysis begins 24-72 hours after exposure to oxidative stress. Patients with severe hemolysis present with weakness, tachycardia, jaundice, and hematuria.

The clinical presentation of G6PD deficiency includes a spectrum of hemolytic anemia ranging from mild to severe hemolysis in response to oxidative stress. The likelihood of developing hemolysis and its severity depend on the level of the enzyme deficiency, which in turn depends on the G6PD variant. [4, 5]

For patient education information, see the Newborn Jaundice Directory.

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