Efficacy of "high-intensity" blue-light and "standard" daylight phototherapy for non-haemolytic hyperbilirubinaemia

Acta Paediatr. 1992 Nov;81(11):870-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1992.tb12126.x.


We report our clinical experience with phototherapy in 3802 infants; 3629 were exposed to "standard" daylight phototherapy and 173 to "high-intensity" blue-light phototherapy. High-intensity blue-light phototherapy was twice as effective as standard daylight phototherapy in decreasing bilirubin concentrations. No failures occurred with high-intensity phototherapy compared with an overall failure rate of 1.84/1000 with daylight lamps; these cases were transferred to high-intensity phototherapy with prompt response. Rebound after cessation of phototherapy was greater in those exposed to high-intensity blue light with a significantly greater number requiring a second exposure. However, the incidence was still low. No third exposure was required in any infant. Nursing of infants under high-intensity blue light was more difficult and inconvenient as was clinical monitoring. The light also caused more stress on the nursing and medical personnel. However, the infants tolerated both types of phototherapy equally well. High-intensity blue-light phototherapy would seem to be the treatment of choice for infants with rapidly increasing or very high bilirubin levels, as well as in those not responding adequately to daylight phototherapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Birth Weight
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / blood
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / nursing
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / therapy*
  • Male
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Phototherapy / nursing
  • Phototherapy / standards
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure


  • Hemoglobins
  • Bilirubin