Comparison of Continuous and Intermittent Phototherapy in the Treatment of Toxic Neonatal Jaundice: A Double-blind Clinical Trial

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Pediatrics, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shaharekord, Iran



Hyperbilirubinemia is most common cause of readmission after early hospital discharge for healthy newborns. Phototherapy is the first line for treating neonate jaundice and preventing any complications. There is a lack of general agreement on whether continuous phototherapy is more effective than intermittent phototherapy. Traditional phototherapy is continuous phototherapy witch causes emotional disorder and inadequate breast feeding. In this research, we are trying to answer this question and also developing quality and quantity of neonatal jaundice treatment. In this clinical trial study, 82 healthy term neonate with jaundice admitted in the neonatal ward of Hajar hospital of Shahrekord city, Iran, were randomly designated into two groups (N=41): the first group treated with 1 hour turn on and 1 hour turn off phototherapy and the second group treated with 0.5 hour turn on and 3 hours turn off phototherapy. In both groups, total and direct bilirubin levels were measured per 12 hours. Serum sodium and potassium levels were measured before and after phototherapy. The average of phototherapy duration and admission duration was 2±0.8 days, and 2.9±1.4 days in the first and second groups, respectively. Mean admission duration in intermittent phototherapy was significantly lower than continuous phototherapy (p <0.0001). There was a significant reduction (p <0.0001) of serum sodium and potassium levels after intermittent phototherapy. Intermittent phototherapy decreases the admission duration and total sodium and potassium concentrations. Intermittent phototherapy (1 hour turn on and 1 hour turn off) is recommended.


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Volume 11, Issue 2
Spring 2021
Pages 153-161
  • Receive Date: 22 September 2020
  • Revise Date: 20 February 2021
  • Accept Date: 28 February 2021