Factors Affecting the Transcutaneous Measurement of Bilirubin: Influence of Race, Gestational Age, Phototherapy and Albumin Binding Capacity
Most previous studies in infants have found surprisingly good correlation between transcutaneous bilirubin indices and serum bilirubin indices and serum bilirubin levels.1–6 However, exact correlation between such measurements should not be expected since the instrument measures the yellowness of the skin and not the concentration of bilirubin in the blood. Many factors can influence the relationship between these two measurements, including race, gestational age, the rate of bilirubin accumulation as well as the bilirubin binding capacity, and other factors that affect the distribution of bilirubin between the intravascular and extravascular spaces. These influences preclude the use of any objective measurement of skin jaundice as a complete substitution or replacement for the measurement of serum bilirubin under all circumstances. Nevertheless, previous studies have tested the validity of transcutaneous bilirubinometry almost solely by comparing the degree of exact correlation with the serum value.
KeywordsPreterm Infant Serum Bilirubin Serum Bilirubin Level Neonatal Jaundice Unconjugated Bilirubin
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