X-ray Study of Human Dental Tissues Affected by Erythroblastosis Fetalis

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Numerous diseases are known to cause microstructural alteration of dental tissues structure. One type in particular is associated with neonatal jaundice and circulation of bilirubin in blood at high concentration due to increased hemolysis in conditions such as erythroblastosis fetalis, septicemia, biliary atresia, and other causes of hyperbilirubinemia. In those conditions, the products of the catabolism of hemoglobin end up deposited in various tissues, including teeth, where they can present clinically as visibly stained brown/green teeth. There is almost no information on the nature or extent of the structural changes taking place in these conditions. Here, advanced nondestructive wide-angle synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques combined with scanning microscopy methods were used to investigate for the first time the ultrastructure of the dental hard tissues in an archival case of intrinsically pigmented green teeth. Despite no obvious elemental variation across the pigmented tissue region, the high-resolution crystallographic properties probed by wide-angle synchrotron X-ray scattering revealed an ultrastructural variation (orientation, particle size, and lattice parameter of hydroxyapatite crystallites) associated with a pigmentation line in dentine and with a distinct neonatal line in enamel.

Bibliographic note

© International & American Associations for Dental Research 2015.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1004-10
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number7
Early online date9 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • bilirubin, tooth, pigments, dental enamel, dentine, neonatal jaundice