Efficacy of phototherapy devices and outcomes among extremely low birth weight infants: multi-center observational study

Journal of Perinatology, 05/02/2012

Morris BH et al. – LEDs achieved the greatest initial absolute reduction in total serum bilirubin (TSB) but were similar to Spots in the other performance measures. Long–term effects of phototherapy (PT) devices in extremely premature infants deserve rigorous evaluation.


  • This substudy of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network PT trial included 1404 infants treated with a single type of PT device during the first 24±12h of treatment.
  • The absolute (primary outcome) and relative decrease in total serum bilirubin (TSB) and other measures were evaluated.
  • For infants treated with one PT type during the 2-week intervention period (n=1223), adjusted outcomes at discharge and 18 to 22 months corrected age were determined.


  • In the first 24h, the adjusted absolute (mean (±s.d.)) and relative (%) decrease in TSB (mgdl-1) were: light-emitting diodes (LEDs) -2.2 (±3), -22%; Spotlights -1.7 (±2), -19%; Banks -1.3 (±3), -8%; Blankets -0.8 (±3), -1%; (P<0.0002).
  • Some findings at 18 to 22 months differed between groups.

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