Study of sodium and potassium changes in term neonates receiving phototherapy


  • Rangaswamy K. B. Department of Paediatrics, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
  • Dileep Yeturi Department of Paediatrics, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
  • Anantha Narayana Gowda B. L. Department of Paediatrics, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
  • Chandana Krishna Department of Community Medicine, Sri Siddhartha Medical College, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
  • Samyuktha . Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sridevi Institute of Medical Sciences, Tumkur, Karnataka, India



Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, Phototherapy, Potassium, Sodium


Background: Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia (NH) is the commonest abnormal physical finding during the first week of life and also the most common cause for readmission during the early neonatal period is a cause of concern for the parents as well as for the Pediatricians. Hence appropriate management of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia is of paramount importance. Phototherapy plays a significant role in prevention and treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. However, this treatment modality may itself result in inherent complications. The present study was carried out with the objective of evaluating the sodium and potassium changes in neonates receiving phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

Methods: A prospective hospital based observational comparative study conducted on 96 eligible term neonates admitted in the neonatal intensive care unit receiving phototherapy at a teaching Hospital from October 1st to December 31st 2018. A predesigned proforma has aided the enrolment of new-borns into the study according to AAP guidelines. Serum bilirubin, sodium and potassium were determined before and after termination of phototherapy. The first samples were considered as controls. A comparative study was made between before and after phototherapy groups to determine the incidence of sodium and potassium changes.

Results: The study group included 96 term neonates that were managed with phototherapy. Incidence of low birth weight babies was 21.9%. Mean birth weight and gestational age was 2.76±0.38 kg and of 38.34±0.88 weeks respectively. Mean duration of phototherapy was 38.48±09.34 hours. The incidence of Sodium and potassium changes were found to be statistically significant after phototherapy (p<0.01) but neonates didn’t develop any signs of hyponatremia and hypokalemia.

Conclusions: The study shows that neonates undergoing phototherapy are at a higher risk of sodium and potassium changes. This risk is greater in LBW babies and hence this group of babies should be closely monitored for changes in sodium, potassium and should be managed accordingly.


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Original Research Articles