Transcutaneous bilirubin measurement in preterm neonates

Negar Sajjadian, Hamideh Shajari, Zeinab Saalehi, Fatemeh Esphahani, Paymaneh Alizadeh Taheri
Acta Medica Iranica 2012, 50 (11): 765-70
Hyperbilirubinemia is a common problem during neonatal period especially in preterm neonates. Transcutaneous bilirubin measurement (TcB) by special devices had been documented as an effective tool for predicting neonatal jaundice in full term neonate, but for preterm infants the present evidences are controversial. We carried out a prospective study in Shariati Hospital NICU. 126 paired TcB/total serum bilirubin (TSB) measurements were obtained. TcB (on forehead and sternum) were measured using JH2-1A device for every admitted preterm infant who clinically showed jaundice and TSB measurements was obtained within 30 min of TcB. 58 (46%) were male and 68 (54%) were female. The mean gestational age was 31 week and mean birth weight was 1728 ± 60 g. 30 percent of neonates were ill. The mean value obtained by TBS was 8.8 mg/dl and for frontal TcB was 8.2mg/dl and for sternal TcB was 7.4mg/dl. There were good correlation between TBS and TcB and the maximum correlation were seen in 33-37 weeks of gestation and birth weight more than 2500 g with forehead TcB measurement. Healthy preterm infants had significant correlation of TSB and TcB (r=0.56, P<0.001) and ill preterm neonate had r =0.82, P<0.001. The correlation between TBS and TcB with and without phototherapy was r=0.66, P=0.000 and r=0.69, P=0.000 respectively. Although TcB measurement may underestimate TBS but there is significant correlation between TcB and TBS in preterm cases even in ill neonate or who receiving phototherapy. This method can be used for determination of bilirbin level in preterm neonate and reduces the number of blood sampling.

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