Skip to main content

Light-emitting diodes versus compact fluorescent tubes for phototherapy in neonatal jaundice: A multi-center randomized controlled trial



To evaluate whether light-emitting diode (LED) phototherapy is as efficacious as compact fluorescent tube (CFT) phototherapy for the treatment of non-hemolytic jaundice in healthy term and late preterm neonates.

Study design

Multi-centre open-label randomized controlled trial.


Four tertiary care neonatal units.


Healthy term and late preterm neonates with non-hemolytic jaundice.


Single-surface LED or CFT phototherapy.

Primary outcome variable

Duration of phototherapy.


A total of 272 neonates were randomized to receive LED (n=142) or CFT (n=130) phototherapy. The baseline demographic and biochemical variables were similar in the two groups. The median duration of phototherapy (IQR) in the two groups was comparable (26 (22–36) h vs. 25(22–36) h; P=0.44). At any time point, a similar proportion of neonates were under phototherapy in the two groups (log-rank test, P=0.38). The rate of fall of serum total bilirubin (STB) during phototherapy and the incidence of ‘failure of phototherapy’ were also not different. An equal proportion of neonates had a rebound increase in STB needing restarting of phototherapy. Side effects were rare, comparable in the two groups and included hypothermia, hyperthermia, rash, skin darkening and dehydration.


LED and CFT phototherapy units were equally efficacious in the management of non-hemolytic hyperbilirubinemia in healthy term and late-preterm neonates.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    National Neonatology Forum of India. National Neonatal Perinatal Database Network. Report 2002–2003. New Delhi: 2004.

  2. 2.

    Ennever JF. Blue light, green light, white light, more light: treatment of neonatal jaundice. Clin Perinatol 1990; 17: 467–481.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    American Academy of Pediatrics. Subcommittee on Hyperbilrubinemia. Management of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn infant 35 or more weeks of gestation. Pediatrics 2004;114: 297–316.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Seidman DS, Moise J, Ergaz Z, Laor A, Vreman HJ, Stevenson DK, et al. A new blue light-emitting phototherapy device: a prospective randomized controlled study. J Pediatr 2000; 136: 771–774.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Vreman HJ, Wong RJ, Stevenson DK, Route RK, Reader SD, Fejer MM, et al. Light-emitting diodes: a novel light source for phototherapy. Pediatr Res 1998;44: 804–809.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Martins BM, de Carvalho M, Moreira ME, Lopes JM. Efficacy of new microprocessed phototherapy system with five high intensity light emitting diodes (Super LED). J Pediatr (Rio J) 2007; 83: 253–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Maisels MJ, Kring EA, DeRidder J. Randomized controlled trial of light-emitting diode phototherapy. J Perinatol 2007; 27: 565–567.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Seidman DS, Moise J, Ergaz Z, Laor A, Vreman HJ, Stevenson DK, et al. A prospective randomized controlled study of phototherapy using blue and blue-green light-emitting devices, and conventional halogen-quartz phototherapy. J Perinatol 2003; 23: 123–127.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Chang YS, Hwang JH, Kwon HN, Choi CW, Ko SY, Park WS, et al. In vitro and in vivo efficacy of new blue light emitting diode phototherapy compared to conventional halogen quartz phototherapy for neonatal jaundice. J Korean Med Sci 2005; 20: 61–64.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Research Randomizer. Available from: URL: Accessed October 24, 2007.

  11. 11.

    Vreman HJ, Wong RJ, Murdock JR, Stevenson DK. Standardized bench method for evaluating the efficacy of phototherapy devices. Acta Paediatr 2008; 97: 308–316.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ashok K. Deorari.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kumar, P., Murki, S., Malik, G.K. et al. Light-emitting diodes versus compact fluorescent tubes for phototherapy in neonatal jaundice: A multi-center randomized controlled trial . Indian Pediatr 47, 131–137 (2010).

Download citation

Key Words

  • Compact fluorescent tube
  • Jaundice
  • Light emitting diode
  • Neonate
  • Phototherapy