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The role of carboxyhemoglobin measured with CO-oximetry in the detection of hemolysis in newborns with ABO alloimmunization.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) values measured with a CO-oximeter (Roche-cobas b 221) in jaundiced newborns with or without hemolysis and healthy controls in order to assess whether COHb measurement determined with a CO-oximeter could be used as an indicator of hemolysis in newborns with ABO alloimmunization.

METHODS: A total of 86 term newborn infants were prospectively studied. The study cohort consisted of three subgroups: 18 infants with ABO HDN, 21 infants with hyperbilirubinemia without hemolytic disease who required phototherapy, and 47 healthy controls. The COHb, bilirubin, and Hb levels were measured.

RESULTS: The three subgroups did not differ significantly with respect to birth weight, gestational age, gender, Apgar score, or mode of delivery. The ABO HDN infants had significantly higher COHb values than the healthy controls (median 2.4% versus 1.3%, p < 0.0005) and the group with hyperbilirubinemia without hemolytic disease (median 2.4% versus 1.3%, p < 0.0005), although the infants with hyperbilirubinemia without hemolytic disease did not have significantly higher COHb values compared with the healthy controls. The cut-off value of 1.7% COHb had 72% sensitivity and 97% specificity for confirming hemolysis in ABO alloimmunization.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that COHb values determined with CO-oximeters are higher in newborns with hemolysis than in those without hemolysis. COHb measured with CO-oximeters could be used to confirm hemolysis in infants with ABO alloimmunization.

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