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Semin Perinatol. 2004 Oct;28(5):326-33.

Phototherapy: current methods and future directions.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5208, USA.


Phototherapy is the most common therapeutic intervention used for the treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. Although it has become a mainstay since its introduction in 1958, a better understanding of the photobiology of bilirubin, characteristics of the phototherapy devices, the efficacy and safety considerations of phototherapy applications, and improvements in spectroradiometers and phototherapy devices are necessary for more predictable and improved clinical practices and outcomes. A step forward in instituting consistent, uniform, and effective use of phototherapy is the recent American Academy of Pediatrics clinical guideline on the management of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn infant 35 or more weeks of gestation, which outlines a clinical strategy for the diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia and contains direct recommendations for the application of phototherapy. This article reviews the parameters that determine the efficacy of phototherapy, briefly discusses current devices and methods used to deliver phototherapy, and speculates on future directions and studies that are still needed to complement our presently incomplete knowledge of the facets of this common mode of therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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