Although the modern era of transcutaneous bilirubin monitoring (TcB) began only about 35 years ago, this screening tool is now widely used in newborn nurseries and outpatient clinics, offices, and emergency departments to obtain a rapid and non-invasive estimate of the degree of hyperbilirubinemia. TcB devices have become more sophisticated, and major breakthroughs include the following: (a) ability to report a bilirubin value rather than an index value, (b) enhanced correction for chromophores other than bilirubin, and (c) technologic improvements including interface with electronic medical records. Good agreement with laboratory bilirubin measurement has been demonstrated, and the ability of TcB screening to predict and decrease the incidence of subsequent hyperbilirubinemia has been well-documented. To date, it has not been shown that this screening results in improved long-term outcomes.
Keywords: Bilirubin; Bilirubinometry; Jaundice; Neonate; Newborn; Transcutaneous.
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