A neonate may develop transient riboflavin deficiency if certain risk factors are present.


Riboflavin shows photodegradation on exposure to light of a certain wavelength (445-450 nm), which is the range used in phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia.


Risk factors for riboflavin deficiency in a neonate:

(1) phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia (Photoactivation of riboflavin may accelerate the degradation of bilirbuin during the phototherapy.)

(2) prematurity

(3) breastfeeding

(4) feeding with milk that has had a prolonged exposure to fluorescent lights


Additional risk factors (from 12.01.21)

(1) starvation, negative nitrogen balance or malnutrition

(1) malabsorption

(3) systemic infection

(4) antibiotic therapy

(5) inborn errors of metabolism affecting formation of flavoproteins


The level of riboflavin in human milk may not have enough riboflavin to meet the increased needs of premature infants, especially if the infant is critically ill or septic.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.