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Paediatr Int Child Health. 2016 May;36(2):127-33. doi: 10.1179/2046905515Y.0000000006.

High-intensity light-emitting diode vs fluorescent tubes for intensive phototherapy in neonates.

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a Departments of Pediatrics.
b Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine , Zagazig University , , Egypt.



Special blue fluorescent tubes are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the most effective light source for lowering serum bilirubin. A high-intensity light-emitting diode ('super LED') could render intensive phototherapy more effective than the above conventional methods. This study compared the efficacy and safety of a high-intensity light-emitting diode bed vs conventional intensive phototherapy with triple fluorescent tube units as a rescue treatment for severe unconjugated neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.


This was a randomised, prospective trial. Two hundred jaundiced neonates ≥ 35 weeks gestation who met the criteria for intensive phototherapy as per AAP guidelines were randomly assigned to be treated either with triple fluorescent tube units (group 1, n = 100) or a super LED bed (group 2, n = 100). The outcome was the avoidance of exchange transfusion by successful control of hyperbilirubinaemia.


Statistically significant higher success rates of intensive phototherapy were achieved among neonates treated with super LED (group 2) than in those treated conventionally (group 1) (87% vs 64%, P = 0.003). Significantly higher 'bilirubin decline' rates were reported in both haemolytic and non-haemolytic subgroups treated with the super LED bed compared with a similar sub-population in the conventionally treated group. Comparable numbers of neonates in both groups developed rebound jaundice (8% vs 10% of groups 1 and 2, respectively). Side-effects were mild in both groups, but higher rates of hyperthermia (12% vs 0%, P = 0.03), dehydration (8% vs 2%, P = 0.26) and skin rash (39% vs 1%, P = 0.002) were reported in the fluorescent tubes-treated group compared with the LED group.


Super LED is a safe rescue treatment for severe neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia, and its implementation may reduce the need for exchange transfusion.


High-intensity light-emitting diode; Hyperbilirubinaemia; Intensive phototherapy; Super LED; Term neonates

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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