OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness of single (1 panel) vs. double (2 panels) phototherapy in reducing nonhemolytic hyperbilirubinemia in term newborns. METHODS: Term newborns with hyperbilirubinemia were prospectively randomized to receive double or single phototherapy. Bilirubin levels were measured at admission and at 12-hour intervals, as well as at a follow-up 48 hours after discharge. RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients received single and 40 double phototherapy. The mean decrease in bilirubin level in the first 24 hours of treatment was greater in the double phototherapy group (5.1±2.2 mg/dL vs. 4.3±2.1 mg/dL), but without statistical significance (p = 0.18). Readmission rates were similar and no adverse effects were found in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Double-surface was not more effective than single-surface phototherapy in the treatment of nonhemolytic hyperbilirubinemia in term newborns. However, our results suggest that double phototherapy may be more effective in those term newborns with higher bilirubin levels at admission.
Phototherapy; newborns; hyperbilirubinemia; therapy; jaundice