Predischarge bilirubin screening in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient neonates

M Kaplan, C Hammerman, R Feldman, R Brisk
Pediatrics 2000, 105 (3 Pt 1): 533-7

OBJECTIVE: To assess the validity of predischarge serum bilirubin values in determining or predicting hyperbilirubinemia in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD)-deficient neonates, and to facilitate appropriate discharge planning.

METHODS: Serum total bilirubin values were determined between 44 and 72 hours of life in a cohort of term, healthy neonates at high-risk for G-6-PD deficiency but with no other risk factors for hyperbilirubinemia. Percentile-based bilirubin nomograms were constructed for G-6-PD-deficient infants and normal infants according to age at sampling. The incidence of hyperbilirubinemia (serum bilirubin value > or =256 micromol/L [15 mg/dL]) for each group was determined according to the percentiles for that group.

RESULTS: In both G-6-PD-deficient neonates (n = 108) and control neonates (n = 215) with serum bilirubin values <50th percentile for age, the incidence of hyperbilirubinemia was low in the G-6-PD-deficient neonates, with no measurable incidence in the controls. The incidence of hyperbilirubinemia became clinically consequential, and significantly higher in the G-6-PD-deficient groups, when the percentiles were > or =50: for those in the 50% to 74% range the incidence was moderate (23%) for the G-6-PD-deficient and small (7%) for the control infants (relative risk, 3.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-10.67). Among those infants > or =75th percentile, 82% of the G-6-PD-deficient infants, compared with 25% of the control infants, were either already hyperbilirubinemic at the time of screening or subsequently developed hyperbilirubinemia (relative risk, 3.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.99-5.24).

CONCLUSIONS: Timed, predischarge serum bilirubin screening can be used to identify G-6-PD-deficient neonates at low, intermediate, or high-risk of developing severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, and thus offer a selective approach to the discharge and follow-up surveillance of these infants.

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