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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2018, Article ID 4856390, 5 pages
Research Article

Transcutaneous Bilirubin Measurements Can Be Used to Measure Bilirubin Levels during Phototherapy

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence should be addressed to Saad Abdullah Alsaedi; moc.liamtoh@ideaslas

Received 3 November 2017; Revised 26 January 2018; Accepted 31 January 2018; Published 20 March 2018

Academic Editor: Francesco Porta

Copyright © 2018 Saad Abdullah Alsaedi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine whether transcutaneous bilirubin measurements (TcB) before and during phototherapy taken from covered skin during phototherapy correlate with total serum bilirubin (TSB) levels. Study Design. In this prospective observational study, healthy term newborns who required TSB measurements were included. TcB measurements were taken from the forehead before starting and during phototherapy using the BiliChek device. Before starting phototherapy, part of the forehead was covered. Blood for TSB measurement was collected within 5 minutes of TcB measurements. Correlations and mean differences between TcB and TSB before and during phototherapy were calculated. Result. Paired TSB and TcB measurements before and during phototherapy in 151 newborns were performed. The mean gestational age was 38.8 weeks and birth weight was 3.1 kg; 53% were male. Before starting phototherapy, TSB and TcB were and 190.5 ± 43 μmol/l, respectively. During phototherapy, TSB and TcB were and μmol/l, respectively. Linear regression analysis showed a significant correlation between TcB and TSB before starting phototherapy and during phototherapy (: 0.85; and : 80.0; ), respectively. Before starting phototherapy, the mean difference between TSB and TcB was mol/l, with a 95% CI of −39.3 to 51.7 mol. During phototherapy, the mean difference was −μmol/l, with a 95% CI of −48.9 to 43.3 mol/l. Conclusion. TcB measurements from covered skin in jaundiced term infants during phototherapy correlate with TSB and can be used to monitor bilirubin levels during phototherapy.