Evaluation of the Relationship Between Transcutaneous Bilirubin Measurement and Total Serum Bilirubin in Neonatal Patients Followed for Jaundice

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2021 Jul 2;55(2):262-267. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2020.79837. eCollection 2021.


Objectives: Jaundice is a physiological condition caused by hyperbilirubinemia, which is common in neonatal period. However, severe hyperbilirubinemia can cause kernicterus, which is a serious condition that leads to neurological problems. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether it is safe to use transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) instead of blood for the evaluation of jaundice by comparing TcB measurement with standard total serum bilirubin (TSB) measurement values.

Methods: A total of 105 term and early term infants with gestational ages between 37 and 42 weeks were included in the study. MBJ20 TcB measuring device was used for TcB measurement. TcB was measured from the forehead and sternum. To evaluate the relationship between TcB measurements and TSB measurements, we performed Pearson correlation, Spearman correlation, linear regression analysis, and Bland-Altman analysis in which we evaluated the scatter plot of the differences between the average values of the measurements.

Results: There was a positive and statistically significant correlation between TcB forehead and TSB measurements and TcB sternum and TSB measurements (p<0.001). Linear regression analysis showed a positive directional correlation between TcB forehead and TSB measurements (R²=0.85) and TcB sternum and TSB measurements (R²=0.87). Bland-Altman analysis showed a good consistency between TSB and TcB forehead measurement methods (mean difference: 0.39±1.46, 95% CI: [-2.47]-[3.26]), and between TSB and TcB sternum measurement methods (mean difference: 0.49±1.32 95% CI: [-2.1]-[3.07]).

Conclusion: As a result of our study, we found that TcB measurement can be reliable instead of taking blood for jaundice evaluation.

Keywords: Jaundice; neonate; serum bilirubin; trancutaneous bilirubin.