Effect of phototherapy on serum electrolytes in neonatal hyperbilirubinemia
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2022, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 1-9
AbstractIntroduction: Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is the most common clinical finding noted during
the first seven days following birth. Amongst all the modalities available for management of
neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, phototherapy is proven to be the safest. However, like any other
intervention, phototherapy too has some of its own side effects.
Aim & objectives: To estimate and compare alterations in serum electrolytes of healthy term
neonates before and after phototherapy.
Material & methods: A hospital based prospective observational comparative study was
conducted over a period of 18 months in the department of Pediatrics on 110 healthy term
neonates with unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia who were subjected to phototherapy as per
American Academy Pediatrics guidelines. Electrolytes including sodium, potassium, chloride
and calcium were analyzed from serum using standard laboratory techniques.
Results: The mean sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium levels before phototherapy was
141.3±2.69 meq/L, 102.2±2.98 meq/L, 4.43±0.52 meq/L, 9.14±0.46 mg/dl and after
phototherapy was 140.5±2.70 meq/L, 102.0±2.93 meq/L, 4.23±0.48 meq/L and 8.09±0.55
mg/dl respectively. All were found to be statistically significant (p-value <0.05); although none
were clinically significant and conveyed no symptom of dyselectrolytemia in this study.
Conclusion: This study shows that neonates exposed to phototherapy are at a risk of
developing electrolyte imbalances and consequently their complications. Hence, close
monitoring of such babies are needed to prevent imbalances and their untoward consequences.
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