Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:99-102 | Number 2, April 2006
BiliCheck transcutaneous bilirubinometer: a screening tool for neonatal jaundice in the Chinese population
EYW Ho, SYR Lee, CB Chow, JWY Chung
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Princess Margaret Hospital, Laichikok, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To verify the usefulness of the BiliCheck transcutaneous bilirubin meter as a screening device for neonatal jaundice in a Chinese population compared with the Minolta bilirubin meter.
DESIGN. A prospective correlation study that compared transcutaneous bilirubin measurements with serum bilirubin levels.
SETTING. Obstetric ward and a neonatal unit of a regional hospital in Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Neonates with gestation above 32 weeks with neonatal jaundice who were admitted between April 2001 and February 2002.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Transcutaneous measurements of serum bilirubin obtained from the forehead and the sternum with two instruments: BiliCheck and Minolta Airshields JM 102.
RESULTS. A total of 77 term and six near-term babies (gestation, 32-37 weeks) were recruited. The mean age at the time of data collection was 3.96 days (range, 2-9 days). The correlations between serum bilirubin and transcutaneous bilirubin measurements of the two devices at the two sites were high, with a coefficient of 0.718 (95% confidence interval, 0.610-0.800; n=100) for forehead measurements, and 0.814 (95% confidence interval, 0.740-0.870; n=99) for sternum using the Minolta Airshields JM 102; and a coefficient of 0.757 (95% confidence interval, 0.657-0.827; n=98) for forehead measurements, and 0.794 (95% confidence interval, 0.700-0.862; n=92) for sternum using the BiliCheck. For BiliCheck, a cut-off point of 250 micromol/L at the forehead and 260 micromol/L at the sternum had a specificity of 61.9% and 70.0%, respectively with a sensitivity of 100% for the detection of serum bilirubin concentrations of 250 micromol/L or higher. This level is commonly used as the level for initiation of treatment such as phototherapy.
CONCLUSION. BiliCheck is a useful screening tool for neonatal jaundice in the Chinese population and is comparable with the Minolta Airshields JM 102.
Key words: Bilirubin/blood; Comparative study; Infant, newborn; Jaundice, neonatal; Neonatal screening
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