top of page

#076-080 : Phototherapy for neonatal jaundice

Hello Friends 👋

This week we talk about Phototherapy for the management of indirect hyperbilirubinemia. We start off our journey in the UK in 1950's where a series of serendipitous events led to the discovery of light as a potential remedy for neonatal jaundice. We discuss the pathophysiology of indirect hyperbilirubinemia, and the mechanism of action of phototherapy. On Thursday we reviewed a group a papers looking at some interesting questions regarding phototherapy. Is high intensity better? Is intermittent phototherapy equivalent to continuous photo? Does phototherapy increase the risk of childhood cancer? We even talked about whether preterm babies should have their chest shieleded during phototherapy in order to prevent the re-opening of closing PDA.... really interesting stuff.

We are linking to many of the articles mentioned on the show this week.

We are also sharing a presentation covering the content discussed on the podcast to help you teach the material.


Link to download the PowerPoint and notes from these episodes 👇

The articles covered on this series of episodes can be found here 👇

Patent ductus arteriosus in extremely preterm infants receiving phototherapy: does shielding the chest make a difference? A randomized, controlled trial.

Travadi J, Simmer K, Ramsay J, Doherty D, Hagan R.Acta Paediatr. 2006 Nov;95(11):1418-23. doi: 10.1080/08035250600771458.PMID: 17062470 Clinical Trial.


Influence of light on the hyperbilirubinaemia of infants.

CREMER RJ, PERRYMAN PW, RICHARDS DH.Lancet. 1958 May 24;1(7030):1094-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(58)91849-x.PMID: 13550936 No abstract available.


Phototherapy for neonatal jaundice: optimal wavelengths of light.

Ennever JF, McDonagh AF, Speck WT.J Pediatr. 1983 Aug;103(2):295-9. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(83)80370-9.PMID: 6875728


Phototherapy for neonatal jaundice.

Maisels MJ, McDonagh AF.N Engl J Med. 2008 Feb 28;358(9):920-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMct0708376.PMID: 18305267 Review. No abstract available.

High-intensity phototherapy for the treatment of severe nonhaemolytic neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

de Carvalho M, Mochdece CC, Sá CA, Moreira ME.Acta Paediatr. 2011 Apr;100(4):620-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02170.x. Epub 2011 Feb 10.PMID: 21251060 Clinical Trial.

Intermittent versus continuous phototherapy for the treatment of neonatal non-hemolytic moderate hyperbilirubinemia in infants more than 34 weeks of gestational age: a randomized controlled trial.

Sachdeva M, Murki S, Oleti TP, Kandraju H.Eur J Pediatr. 2015 Feb;174(2):177-81. doi: 10.1007/s00431-014-2373-8. Epub 2014 Jul 9.PMID: 25005717 Clinical Trial.

Cycled Phototherapy Dose-Finding Study for Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Arnold C, Tyson JE, Pedroza C, Carlo WA, Stevenson DK, Wong R, Dempsey A, Khan A, Fonseca R, Wyckoff M, Moreira A, Lasky R.JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Jul 1;174(7):649-656. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.0559.PMID: 32338720 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.

Update on Phototherapy and Childhood Cancer in a Northern California Cohort.

Digitale JC, Kim MO, Kuzniewicz MW, Newman TB.Pediatrics. 2021 Nov;148(5):e2021051033. doi: 10.1542/peds.2021-051033. Epub 2021 Oct 29.PMID: 34716218

Use of reflective materials during phototherapy for newborn infants with unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia.

Van Rostenberghe H, Ho JJ, Lim CH, Abd Hamid IJ.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020 Jul 1;7(7):CD012011. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012011.pub2.PMID: 32609375 Free PMC article.

Chest shielding for prevention of a haemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants receiving phototherapy.

Bhola K, Foster JP, Osborn DA.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Nov 3;2015(11):CD009816. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009816.pub2.PMID: 26523368 Free PMC article. Review.

Historical Perspectives: Phototherapy

Alistair G.S. Philip, MD, FRCP(E). Neoreviews (2003) 4 (2): e27–e29.

Neonatal Indirect Hyperbilirubinemia 

Nicole B. Anderson, MD; Kara L. Calkins, MD, MS. Neoreviews (2020) 21 (11): e749–e760.

bottom of page