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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


ALFIERI, Gabriela et al. Application of non-invasive bilirubinometry in newborns. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2019, vol.46, n.3, pp.158-164. ISSN 1683-9803.


The guidelines for prevention and treatment of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia recommend measurement of total serum bilirubin (BST) or transcutaneous bilirubin (BTc) to determine the degree of jaundice before discharge of the newborn (NB); the latter non-invasive method provides instant information which is superior to the clinical evaluation. Despite this, it has not yet been systematically applied in hospitals in Paraguay. Objective: to evaluate transcutaneous measurement of bilirubin concentration as compared to serum bilirubin levels prior to discharge in our setting.

Materials and Methods:

This was an observational, cross-sectional, descriptive study with an analytical component. For a period of one year, we tracked NBs with a gestational age ≥ 35 weeks, weighing ≥ 2000 grams, from 24 hours of life until 8 days of life, obtaining the informed consent of the parents. The data was entered in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and processed by the IBM SPSS Statistics ® software.


Of 271 NBs who entered the study, 90 (33.2%) met criteria for measurement of serum bilirubin at their first measurement with the transcutaneous bilirubinometer. In the remaining 181 RN (66.8%), the paired data were not available as measurement of serum bilirubin was not required per the recommendations of current guidelines. The correlation coefficient value for the first measurement was r = 0.574. For the second measurement, paired measurements were available for 131 NBs. In this case, a positive correlation was found between both methods of 0.590.


Transcutaneous bilirubin can be used quickly, safely and accurately as a screening test for the detection of hyperbilirubinemia and could avoid a significant proportion of blood sampling, improving patient safety.

Palavras-chave : neonatal hyperbilirubinemia; transcutaneous bilirubinometer; total serum bilirubin.

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