Frequency and duration of phototherapy in preterm infants <35 weeks>gestation

Devashis Mukherjee, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Mary Coffey, Research Institute
M. Jeffrey Maisels, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine


© 2018, Nature America, Inc., part of Springer Nature. Objective: To evaluate the frequency, age at phototherapy (PT) initiation, and duration of PT use in infants 230/7 to 346/7 weeks of gestation in two neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) over 4 time periods. Study design: We reviewed the charts of all infants born at 230/7–346/7 weeks of gestational age (GA) and admitted to the NICUs of two hospitals between January 2009 and September 2015. We calculated the proportion of infants who received PT and the total duration of PT exposure. Results: Overall 2023 (81.8%) received PT, and PT use was inversely related to GA and birthweight. More infants received PT when GA was added as a criterion for initiating PT. The median duration (interquartile range (IQR)) of PT for all infants was 50 (27–85) h and in the lowest GA group was 74 (42–111) h. Conclusions: Recent US consensus guidelines appear to have led to an increased use of PT in our NICUs and studies from Norway indicate that we use PT considerably more frequently and for longer durations than do our Norwegian colleagues.