Updated Bilirubin Nomogram

TM Bahr et al. J Pediatr 2021; 236: 28-33. A New Hour-Specific Serum Bilirubin Nomogram for Neonates ≥35 Weeks of Gestation

This study which encompassed 397,395 total serum bilirubins provides an updated normogram for serum bilirubins in the first days of life. The data for this nomogram is based on 140 times the number of subjects and is derived from 15 years of universal bilirubin screening (Intermountain Healthcare Hospitals).

Key points:

  • The authors state that this study is one step “toward evidence-based phototherapy decision-making”
  • “We are currently using this nomogram [figure below] routinely in our hospitals in Utah for phototherapy initiation (when a neonate has a TSB exceeding the 95th percentile) and for discharge risk stratification.”
  • “This reduces phototherapy usage…to about 5% of well babies, whereas we had previously been administering phototherapy in 8-10% of well babies.”
  • “Newborns with TSB>75 percentile…receive a recommendation for follow-up within 24 hours.”
  • The authors acknowledge the limitations of their study and caution that more long term outcome data are needed in evaluation of their approach.

My take: Overall, the data is fairly similar to prior data but adoption of these slightly higher values would likely reduce the number of infants requiring phototherapy.

Related blog posts:

In this figure, the new data is indicated by the solid lines and
the prior Bhutani data is indicated by dashed lines.

In brief: Pediatric HCV trial, Exercise for NAFLD, and Urso for Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinemia

Schwarz et al. JPGN 2016; 62: 93-96.  This study showed that all 21 children who had achieved a sustained virological response with PEG-interferon/ribavirin maintained an SVR during followup of 4.4-7.0 years.  Hopefully, new direct-acting highly effective oral agents will be approved in pediatrics and make this study less relevant.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) Jan 28, 2016

Anderson et al. JPGN 2016; 62: 110-17.  Participants (n=2612) from a large longitudinal study with prospectively collected data were followed. “The adolescents who are more active in late childhood have lower risk of ultrasound scan fatty liver and lower ϒ-gluamyl transferase levels.”  In addition, they showed that more activity was correlated with lower fat mass in adolescence.

Saki et al. JPGN 2016; 62: 97-100. In a double-blind randomized clinical trial of 80 neonates with unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia, treatment with added ursodeoxycholic acid (5 mg/kg/dose BID) resulted in improved clearance of bilirubin compared to phototherapy alone. At 12, 24 and 48 hours, total bilirubin in the treatment group was 12, 10 and 9.8 respectively compared with 14.4, 12.5, and 10.1 for the control group.  Furthermore, the mean time for phototherapy to decrease bilirubin to <10 was 15.5 hours in the treatment group compared with 44.6 hours in the control group.  This study, if confirmed, could result in shorter hospital stays.

Old Town, San Juan

Old Town, San Juan