Jaundice and bilirubin levels varied widely in 85 children with favism. Low bilirubin levels (less than 2 mg/100 ml) with clinically undetectable jaundice were seen in 34 (40%), mild jaundice in 32 (38%), moderate in 16 (19%), and severe (greater than 8 mg/100 ml) in 3 (4%). Bilirubin levels were unrelated to the severity of anaemia or to reticulocytosis. The absence of bilirubinaemia and jaundice in a high proportion of the patients was attributed to the ability of the liver to conjugate large amounts of bilirubin. The extreme bilirubinaemia and jaundice observed in a minority of cases was attributed to the existence of an additional hereditary factor affecting the liver.
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