Background: Blue light with peak emission around 460 nm is the preferred treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. However, studies using fluorescent light tubes have suggested that turquoise light with peak emission at 490 nm may be more efficient. At present, the predominant light source for phototherapy is light emitting diodes (LEDs). Hence, the aim of this study was to compare the bilirubin-reducing effect in jaundiced neonates treated either with turquoise or with blue LED light with peak emission at 497 or 459 nm, respectively, with equal irradiance on the infants.
Methods: Infants with gestational age ≥33 wk and uncomplicated hyperbilirubinemia were randomized to either turquoise or blue LED light and were treated for 24 h. The mean irradiance footprint at skin level was 5.2 × 10(15) and 5.1 × 10(15) photons/cm(2)/s, respectively.
Results: Forty-six infants received turquoise light and 45 received blue light. The median (95% confidence interval) decrease of total serum bilirubin was 35.3% (32.5; 37.3) and 33.1% (27.1; 36.8) for infants treated with turquoise and blue lights, respectively. The difference was nonsignificant (P = 0.53). The decrease was positively correlated to postnatal age and negatively to birth weight.
Conclusion: Using LED light of equal irradiance, turquoise and blue lights had equal bilirubin-reducing effect on hyperbilirubinemia of neonates.