Karolyi L; Pohlandt F; Muche R; Franz AR; Mihatsch WA
Transcutaneous bilirubinometry in very low birthweight infants

Acta Paediatr 2004 Jul;93(7):941-4 (ISSN: 0803-5253)  
Department of Paediatrics, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany

AIM: To evaluate whether transcutaneous bilirubinometry (TcB) would be a reliable and efficient screening technique for hyperbilirubinaemia in very low birthweight (VLBW, < or =1500 g) infants in an intensive care unit setting. METHODS: TcB measurements (Minolta Airshield Jaundice Meter JM-102, Osaka, Japan) were obtained immediately before or within 10 min following routine blood sampling for plasma bilirubin concentration measurements in 124 VLBW infants not receiving phototherapy. The relationship between the two techniques was analysed by linear regression analysis. A plasma bilirubin > or =150 micromol/l was defined as hyperbilirubinaemia. The sensitivity and specificity of possible TcB cut-off readings to detect hyperbilirubinaemia was evaluated. RESULTS: There was a significant correlation between the measurements of both techniques (p < 0.0001, r = 0.68). In the present study, a TcB cut-off reading of 14 would have reduced the need for plasma bilirubin measurements by 26% without missing true hyperbilirubinaemia. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that TcB will improve VLBW infant care in an intensive care unit setting by reducing the need for invasive bilirubin concentration measurements.

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