A study on effect of phototherapy on platelet count in neonates with neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in a tertiary care rural hospital

Venaktamurthy M., Balaji M. D., Kedarnath Reddy T.


Background: Phototherapy is one of the most common and invasive methods in treatment of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia of the neonate. Adverse effects of phototherapy include loose stools, skin rash and dehydration. There are very few studies which show the effect of phototherapy on platelet count. So, this study was done to show the effect of phototherapy on platelet count.

Methods: This is a prospective hospital based comparative study on 100 eligible neonates admitted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit receiving phototherapy at Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and research hospital, a rural tertiary care hospital, B. G. Nagara, Nagamangala Taluk, Karnataka from December 1st 2013- November 30th 2014. Two samples were taken before and after phototherapy, were taken and analysis was done. The results were analysed statistically.

Results: A total of 100 neonates were included in our study of which 55(55%) were males and 45(45%) were females. The mean (+/-SD) platelet counts were 2.23+/-0.28 lak before phototherapy and 1.82+/-0.01 lak after phototherapy. There was a decline in the mean platelet count after phototherapy but it was not statistically significant (p=0.150). However there was a significant decline in mean platelet count in LBW babies.

Conclusions: In our study there was a decline in mean platelet count after phototherapy but it was not statistically significant except for LBW babies. The treating Doctor should keep other causes of thrombocytopenia when the patient is receiving phototherapy.


Phototherapy, Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinemia, Platelet count

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