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Eur J Pediatr. 2008 Jan;167(1):37-42. Epub 2007 Feb 13.

Transepidermal water loss and cerebral hemodynamics in preterm infants: conventional versus LED phototherapy.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, Division of Neonatology, University of Florence School of Medicine, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.


The aim of our study was to evaluate whether high-intensity gallium nitride light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy (LPT) influences transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and cerebral hemodynamics in preterm neonates in comparison with conventional phototherapy (CPT). Thirty-one preterm infants were randomized for conventional (n = 14) and for LED (n = 17) phototherapy. All infants were studied using a Tewameter TM 210 and cerebral Doppler ultrasound immediately before phototherapy (time 0), 30 min (time 1), 1-6 h (time 2), and 12-24 h (time 3) after the start of phototherapy, and 6-12 h after discontinuing phototherapy (time 4). The study shows that LPT does not induce significant changes in TEWL (time 0: 2.75 +/- 4.71 ml/m(2)/h; time 3: 14.45 +/- 3.68 ml/m(2)/h), in peak systolic, end diastolic and mean cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV), and in the resistence index (RI). On the contrary, CPT is associated with a significant increase of TEWL (time 0: 13.22 +/- 5.61 ml/m(2)/h; time 3: 20.94 +/- 3.21 ml/m(2)/h), which disappeared at time 4, when phototherapy had stopped. The peak systolic and mean CBFV increased, respectively, from 0.11 +/- 0.03 m/s at time 0 to 0.16 +/- 0.07 m/s at time 3. We conclude that LPT, emitting light within the 450-470-nm spectrum for optimal bilirubin degradation, can be preferable to CPT for the therapy of hyperbilirubinemia in preterm infants.

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