Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of a microprocessed phototherapy (PT) system with five high intensity light emitting diodes (Super LED) for the treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia of premature infants.
Methods: Randomized clinical trial using Super LED phototherapy in the study group and twin halogen spotlight phototherapy in the control group. A stratified blocked randomization, based on birth weight, was performed. The duration of phototherapy and the rate of decrease of total serum bilirubin (TSB) concentration in the first 24 hours of treatment were the main outcome measures.
Results: We studied 88 infants, 44 in the Super LED group and 44 in the halogen spotlight PT group. The demographic characteristics of the patients in both groups were similar. Infants in the Super LED group had a similar mean initial serum bilirubin level (10.1+/-2.4 mg%) to those receiving halogen spotlight treatment (10.9+/-2.0 mg%). After 24 hours of treatment, the decrease in total serum bilirubin levels was significantly greater in the Super LED group (27.9 vs. 10.7%, p<0.01) and duration of phototherapy was significantly shorter in this group (36.8 h vs. 63.8 h, p<0.01). After 24 hours of treatment, a significantly greater number of patients receiving Super LED phototherapy had reached serum bilirubin concentrations low enough to allow withdrawal of treatment (23 vs. 10, p<0.01).
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that the efficacy of Super LED phototherapy for treating hyperbilirubinemia in premature infants was significantly better than halogen phototherapy.