Prediction of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia using umbilical cord blood bilirubin

Kiran Haridas, Rajendra Shinde, Gangadhar Belavadi


Background: Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is a common problem among newborns.  Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia has a potential complication of kernicterus which is still seen in many newborns. In present study authors used umbilical cord blood bilirubin to predict the development of significant hyperbilirubinemia in the early neonatal period. The objective of this study is to evaluate the correlation between concentration of bilirubin in the cord blood and occurrence of hyperbilirubinemia in term newborns.

Methods: In this prospective study authors included 500 term healthy consecutively born babies whose umbilical cord blood was collected and were followed up for first 7 days for the appearance of jaundice. The clinical assessment of jaundice was done by Kramer rule. The data was analyzed by using SPSS 17 statistical software.

Results: Study found that umbilical cord blood bilirubin was 90% sensitive and 87% specific with a PPV of 75% and NPV of 92% in predicting significant neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

Conclusions: The study conducted clearly points that the use of cord blood bilirubin for identifying newborns at risk of hyperbilirubinemia helps in early detection and treatment of jaundice. There by preventing the potential complication kernicterus. This method is economical and socially acceptable. Hence cord blood bilirubin should be done on all healthy term newborns.


Bilirubin, Cord blood, Neonatal jaundice, Phototherapy, Preterm

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