The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2014 , Vol 56 , Num 6
Comparison of Transcutaneous and Total Serum Bilirubin Measurement in Turkish Newborns
1Division of Neonatology, 2Department of Pediatrics, Ministry of Health Umraniye Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail: Severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia can be prevented by screening for neonatal jaundice. Transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurement is a noninvasive method for screening neonates.

The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between TcB measurement (using the JM-103 bilirubinometer) and total serum bilirubin (TSB) measurement. To our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the usefulness of the JM-103 bilirubinometer in Turkish neonates. Two hundred and fifty healthy infants in our well-baby nurseries and follow-up clinic with a gestational age of ≥36 weeks who were ≤15 days old were enrolled in this study. TcB measurements were taken usinng the JM-103; almost simultaneously, TSB was checked using a spectrophotometric method. The mean±SD TSB level was 11.2±4.6 mg/dl (range, 0.9-27.0 mg/dl); 17.2% of cases had TSB>15 mg/dl. There was good correlation between transcutaneous bilirubin and total serum bilirubin measurements (Pearson’s correlation coefficient 0.87 for TcB from the forehead, 0.88 for TcB from the sternum; p<0.001). The transcutaneous bilirubin measurement tended to underestimate the value with increasing discrepancy at higher TSB values. The mean difference between serum bilirubin and transcutaneous (from the sternum and forehead) bilirubin values was significantly lower in cases not requiring phototherapy than in those requiring phototherapy [2.6 mg/dl (sternum) vs 4.8 mg/dl, 2.9 mg/dl (forehead) vs. 5.2 mg/dl, respectively; p<0.001]

Although the JM-103 bilirubinometer tends to underestimate serum bilirubin, especially in patients with high bilirubin levels, it is a suitable screening tool to identify jaundiced infants that require a serum bilirubin check and may reduce the need for TSB measurements. Keywords : newborn, hyperbilirubinemia, transcutaneous bilirubin measurement.

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