Objective: To assess the effect of phototherapy on serum oxidant and antioxidant status in hyperbilirubinemic full-term newborns.
Method: Thirty-four full-term infants from 3 to 10 days of age exposed to phototherapy were studied. The serum antioxidant status was assessed by measuring the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and individual antioxidant components: vitamin C, uric acid, albumin, thiol contents and total bilirubin. The oxidant status was assessed by determining the total oxidant status (TOS), oxidative stress index (OSI) and individual oxidant components: malondialdehyde (MDA), and lipid hydroperoxide levels.
Results: Vitamin C, uric acid, total bilirubin and MDA concentration were significantly lower, whereas serum TOS, lipid hydroperoxide and OSI levels were significantly higher after phototherapy (p < 0.05). There were significant positive correlations between serum total bilirubin and MDA (r = 0.434, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Although the MDA level was reduced after phototherapy, phototherapy has a negative impact on numerous parts of the oxidant/antioxidant defense system in jaundiced full-term newborns, exposing them to potential oxidative stress.