Unconjugated and conjugated bilirubin pigments during perinatal development. V. Effect of phototherapy on serum conjugated bilirubin in hyperbilirubinemic neonates

Michael Kaplan, Maurizio Muraca, Cathy Hammerman, Maria Teresa Vilei, Firmino F. Rubaltelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the effect of phototherapy on serum conjugated bilirubin fractions, an index of bilirubin conjugation, in hyperbilirubinemic neonates. Method: Serum was sampled from 21 jaundiced (serum diazo total bilirubin ≤ 274 μmol/l), term, otherwise healthy neonates prior to starting phototherapy, and 24 h after the commencement of treatment. Alkaline methanolysis followed by reverse-phase, high-performance liquid chromatography, specific for determination of unconjugated bilirubin and the monoconjugated and diconjugated fractions of total conjugated bilirubin in serum, was used for the analysis. Prephototherapy values were compared to those at 24 h. Results: Serum total bilirubin and total conjugated bilirubin values decreased during the study period, from 220 (211-239) to 177 (157-213) μmol/l (median (25-75% range)) p = 0.001, for the former, and from 1.4 (0.87-1.57) to 0.93 (0.69-1.84) μmol/l, p = 0.005, for the latter. These parameters decreased by a similar percentage (-16.6 ± 14.8% and -14.0 ± 23.4%, respectively; p > 0.05). Both monoconjugated and diconjugated bilirubin, calculated as a percentage of total conjugated bilirubin, remained constant over the study period (88.2 (72.2-96.4)% before phototherapy and 92.5 (87.3-96.8)% after 24 h, p > 0.05, for monoconjugated bilirubin, and 11.8 (3.6-27.8)% and 7.5 (3.2-12.7)%, respectively, p > 0.05, for diconjugated bilirubin). Conclusions: Serum total conjugated bilirubin values decreased in parallel to serum total bilirubin levels during phototherapy, maintaining a constant relationship between these two parameters. The ratios of monoconjugated and diconjugated bilirubin to total conjugated bilirubin remained constant. These findings imply that phototherapy does not alter bilirubin conjugation in hyperbilirubinemic neonates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Volume73
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

Keywords

  • Alkaline methanolysis
  • Bilirubin
  • Conjugated bilirubin
  • Diconjugated bilirubin
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Monoconjugated bilirubin
  • Neonatal jaundice
  • Phototherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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