The side effects of phototherapy for neonatal jaundice: what do we know? What should we do?

Eur J Pediatr. 2011 Oct;170(10):1247-55. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1454-1. Epub 2011 Apr 1.


Neonatal phototherapy (NNPT), a noninvasive, easily available therapy, has been widely used for the treatment of neonatal jaundice for more than half a century. Its efficiency in decreasing plasma bilirubin concentration is well documented, and NNPT leads to greatly reduced exchange transfusion rates for neonates with hyperbilirubinemia. It is generally accepted that the side effects of NNPT are not serious and seem to be well controlled. This review will focus on these possible side effects as well as the approaches to minimize them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bilirubin / radiation effects
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / etiology
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / therapy*
  • Phototherapy / adverse effects*
  • Phototherapy / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / etiology
  • Water-Electrolyte Imbalance / therapy


  • Bilirubin