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J Trop Pediatr. 2012 Jun;58(3):178-83. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmr063. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Prospective randomized controlled study comparing low-cost LED and conventional phototherapy for treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

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1
Departamento de Pediatria, Servicio de Minimo Riesgo, Unidad de Neonatologia, Hospital Roosevelt, Cuidad de Guatemala, Guatemala.

Abstract

Our objective was to carry out a prospective, randomized, single-blind study to evaluate whether light emitting diode (LED) phototherapy using a low-cost set of lights is as effective as conventional phototherapy in treating hyperbilirubinemia in neonates. The study included 45 pre-term neonates requiring phototherapy as per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines; participants were randomized to receive phototherapy using LED-based lights, conventional fluorescent blue lights or conventional halogen lights. There were no statistically significant differences in the average bilirubin levels at the onset, at the maximum and at the end of treatment, nor in the duration of phototherapy treatment and the rate of decrease in bilirubin levels in the neonates receiving conventional fluorescent blue light, conventional halogen light and LED phototherapy. (Differences were considered significant at p < 0.05). The average rate of decrease of bilirubin levels was 0.047 ± 0.037 mg dl(-1) h(-1), 0.055 ± 0.056 mg dl(-1) h(-1) and 0.057 ± 0.045 mg dl(-1) h(-1) in the groups receiving conventional fluorescent blue light, conventional halogen light and LED phototherapy, respectively. The average duration of phototherapy treatment in the three groups was 108.8 ± 85.9 h, 92.8 ± 38.1 h, 110.4 ± 42.6 h, respectively. In this pilot study, LED phototherapy using a simple, low-cost set of lights was as effective as conventional phototherapy in the treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. LED phototherapy lights that deliver 30-40 µW cm(-2 )nm(-1) can be assembled in small quantities for <US$ 100 each using off-the-shelf parts; such lights may enable phototherapy to be safely and reliably delivered in low-resource settings.

PMID:
21914717
DOI:
10.1093/tropej/fmr063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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