Hyperbilirubinemia can cause bilirubin-induced neurotoxicity, which is possibly irreversible. The determination of transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) has become a useful tool in the non-invasive screening of neonatal jaundice. A study compared the results of three of the most widely used transcutaneous bilirubin meters on a multiracial population of term and late preterm neonates. The concentration of bilirubin was measured using classic photometric methods as well as transcutaneously with Bilicheck, BiliMed, and JM-103, in that sequence. The total serum bilirubin (TSB) concentration was measured throughout a wide range of concentrations (15,8–0,7 mg/dl), with a mean of 9,5 mg/dl. TcB readings are recorded using Bilicheck (TcB-BC), BiliMed (TcB-BM), and JM-103 (TcB-JM).
A multiracial population of 289 neonates, ranging in gestational age from 35 to 41 weeks, birth weight from 1800 to 4350 grams, and hours of life from 4 to 424, were enrolled. In the whole study population, Pearson coefficient correlation analysis revealed strong results for Bilicheck (r=0.86) and JM-103 (r=0.85) but poor results for BiliMed (r=0,70). The non-Caucasian neonate subgroup showed similar findings. When TSB =14 mg/dl was chosen as a threshold value for the overall study population and the non-Caucasian subgroup, Bilicheck and JM-103 showed a bigger area under the curve than BiliMed. In the multiracial neonatal sample, Bilicheck and JM-103, but not BiliMed, are equally reliable screening methods for hyperbilirubinemia.