Objective: To evaluate whether light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy is as efficacious as compact fluorescent tube (CFT) phototherapy for the treatment of non-hemolytic jaundice in healthy term and late preterm neonates.
Study design: Multi centre open label randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Four tertiary care neonatal units.
Subjects: Healthy term and late preterm neonates with non-hemolytic jaundice.
Intervention: Single-surface LED or CFT phototherapy.
Primary outcome variable: Duration of phototherapy.
Results: A total of 272 neonates were randomized to receive LED (n=142) or CFT (n=130) phototherapy. The baseline demographic and biochemical variables were similar in the two groups. The median duration of phototherapy (IQR) in the two groups was comparable (26 (22-36) h vs. 25(22-36) h; P=0.44). At any time point, a similar proportion of neonates were under phototherapy in the two groups (log-rank test, P=0.38). The rate of fall of serum total bilirubin (STB) during phototherapy and the incidence of failure of phototherapy were also not different. An equal proportion of neonates had a rebound increase in STB needing restarting of phototherapy. Side effects were rare, comparable in the two groups and included hypothermia, hyperthermia, rash, skin darkening and dehydration.
Conclusions: LED and CFT phototherapy units were equally efficacious in the management of non-hemolytic hyperbilirubinemia in healthy term and late preterm neonates.