Aim: To investigate whether infants with neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia but without intermediate or advanced bilirubin encephalopathy develop long-term sequelae, with impairment of motor development, executive function, or hearing.
Method: This nested double-cohort study included 167 exposed children (107 males, 60 females) born in Denmark 2000 to 2005 at gestational age ≥35 weeks with a total serum bilirubin ≥450 μmol/L (26.3mg/dL) and 163 age-, sex-, and gestational age-matched unexposed children (103 males, 60 females). The children were examined at a mean age of 7.7 years (SD 1.7y) using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-Second Edition (MABC-2), pure tone audiometry, and the Behavioural Regulation Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) questionnaire.
Results: The follow-up rate was 70% of the eligible infants in the exposed group and 45% in the unexposed group. Mean difference was -0.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] -1.1 to 0.8) in adjusted standard score for MABC-2 and 0.3 (95% CI -2.9 to 3.5) in adjusted BRIEF executive composite standard score. No children had significant hearing impairment or a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, attention-deficit-hyperactive disorder, or autism spectrum disorder recorded in national registries.
Interpretation: No evidence was found of an increased risk of deficits in motor development, executive function, or hearing in children with extreme hyperbilirubinaemia who did not have intermediate or advanced bilirubin encephalopathy.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01599611.
© 2014 Mac Keith Press.