Accuracy of neonatal transcutaneous bilirubin measurement in the outpatient setting

Andrea C Wickremasinghe, Brad S Karon, Walter J Cook
Clinical Pediatrics 2011, 50 (12): 1144-9
OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the effectiveness of transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurement in predicting risk for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in outpatients. DESIGN. Subjects were infants ≤8 days old seen in an outpatient clinic. Infants discharged with high-risk (HR) or high-intermediate risk (HIR) total serum bilirubin (TSB) values and jaundiced infants were recruited. TSB and TcB (BiliChek) levels were plotted on an hour-specific nomogram to determine risk for hyperbilirubinemia. RESULTS. A total of 79 infants provided 87 sets of TcB and TsB values. Mean bias and standard deviation between TcB and TsB was 1.5 ± 2.1 mg/dL for outpatients, compared with 2.7 ± 1.3 mg/dL for inpatients. The sensitivity and specificity of HR or HIR TcB for predicting an HR or HIR TSB were 87% and 58%, respectively. Of 9 infants readmitted for phototherapy, 1 had a low-risk TcB and high-risk TSB. CONCLUSIONS. TcB screening in the outpatient environment may not be safe and efficient.

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