Pre-phototherapy total serum bilirubin levels in extremely preterm infants
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BACKGROUND: Extremely preterm infants are prone to hyperbilirubinemia and its sequelae. Currently recommended thresholds for initiating phototherapy in these newborns are consensus-based (CB). METHODS: A multi-site retrospective cohort study of 642 infants born at 240/7 to 286/7 weeks' gestation, between January 2013 and June 2017, was conducted at three NICUs in Canada. Pre-phototherapy TSB percentile levels at 24 h of age were generated and contrasted with published CB thresholds. RESULTS: Among infants born 240/7 to 256/7 weeks' gestation, the differences between our TSB percentiles vs. the CB threshold of 85.0 µmol/L were 10.0 µmol/L (95% CI, 6.0-16.0) at the 75th percentile and 35.3 µmol/L (95% CI, 26.1-42.8) at the 95th percentile. Respectively, among infants born at 260/7 to 276/7 weeks, differences were 19.4 µmol/L (95% CI, 16.8-23.4) and 43.3 µmol/L (95% CI, 34.7-46.9). Born at 280/7 to 286/7 weeks' gestation, differences between our 75th and 95th TSB percentiles and the CB threshold of 103 µmol/L were 6.9 µmol/L (95% CI, 3.2-12.0) and 36.0 µmol/L (95% CI, 31.0-44.3), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We provide statistically derived pre-phototherapy TSB levels that may clarify patterns of pre-phototherapy TSB levels in extremely preterm infants. IMPACT: We present statistically derived pre-phototherapy total serum bilirubin levels in a cohort of extremely preterm infants. Most of these preterm infants received phototherapy-some at below currently published thresholds. There are notable differences between our statistically derived pre-phototherapy TSB levels and currently published lower limit TSB thresholds for phototherapy. Our study results assist in the understanding of pre-phototherapy TSB levels in extremely preterm infants.
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