Comparison of two transcutaneous bilirubinometers—Minolta AirShields Jaundice Meter JM103 and Spectrx Bilicheck—in Thai neonates

Suwimol Sanpavat, Issarang Nuchprayoon
Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 2005, 36 (6): 1533-7
Transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) has been reported to have a high correlation with serum bilirubin. The objectives of this study were: (1) to compare the accuracy of two transcutaneous bilirubinometer (Minolto AirShields Jaundice Meter, JM103 (JM) and SpectRx, Bilicheck (BC) in estimating total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels; and (2) to assess the predictive ability of transcutaneous bilirubin in relation to specific selected TSB levels. A total of 154 measurements of TcB, using JM and BC, and TSB were recruited from 134 term and near-term infants. Postnatal ages ranged from 19 to 160 hours (x = 64.7, SD = 25.6). TSB levels ranged from 4.5 to 17.5 mg/dl (x = 10.4, SD = 2.5). The correlation coefficients between TcB (JM and BC) and TSB measurements were significant and similar (r 0.80 and 0.82, respectively). The errors of distribution were, for TSB and TcB-JM, the mean difference of 0.7 mg/dl (SD 1.6 mg/dl and 95% confidence interval of the mean (CI) 0.4 and 1.0]; and, for TSB and TcB-BC, the mean difference of -0.6 mg/dl (SD 1.5 mg/dl and 95% CI -0.4 and -0.8). TcB-JM had a tendency to underestimate TSB levels, and TcB-BC had a tendency to overestimate TSB levels. The sensitivity of BC was higher, but specificity was lower, than JM in corresponding to different TSB levels, except at a TSB level of 15 mg/dl when both instruments yielded 100% sensitivity. The accuracy of JM in predicting TSB was higher than BC at all TSB levels. Operating the JM was simple and uncomplicated. It would be suitable for clinical use when a number of personnel perform the measurement.

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