Hemolytic anemia (HA) of the newborn should be considered in cases of rapidly developing, severe, or persistent hyperbilirubinemia. Several causes of corpuscular hemolysis have been described, among which red blood cell enzyme defects are of particular concern. We report a rare case of red blood cell enzyme defect in a male infant, who presented during his first months of life with recurrent and isolated neonatal hemolysis. All main causes were ruled out. At 6.5 months of age, the patient presented with gastroenteritis requiring hospitalization; fortuitously, urine organic acid chromatography revealed a large peak of 5-oxoproline. Before the association between HA and 5-oxoprolinuria was noted, glutathione synthetase deficiency was suspected and confirmed by a low glutathione synthetase concentration and a collapse of glutathione synthetase activity in erythrocytes. Moreover, molecular diagnosis revealed 2 mutations in the glutathione synthetase gene: a previously reported missense mutation (c.[656A>G]; p.[Asp219Gly]) and a mutation not yet described in the binding site of the enzyme (c.[902T>C]; p.[Leu301Pro]). However, 15 days later, a control sample revealed no signs of 5-oxoprolinuria and the clinical history discovered administration of acetaminophen in the 48 hours before hospitalization. Thus, in this patient, acetaminophen exposure allowed the diagnosis of a mild form of glutathione synthetase deficiency, characterized by isolated HA. Early diagnosis is important because treatment with bicarbonate, vitamins C and E, and elimination of trigger factors are recommended to improve long-term outcomes. Glutathione synthetase deficiency should be screened for in cases of unexplained newborn HA.

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