Phototherapy-Induced Hypocalcemia in Icteric Newborns

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

Abstract

Bakground: Phototherapy plays a significant role in the treatment and prevention of hyperbilirubinemia as well as the management of subsequent complications in the newborn.  However, this treatment modality may itself result in the development of hypocalcaemia and create serious complications including convulsion and related conditions. Objective: This study was under-taken to investigate phototherapy–induced hypocalcemia in hyperbilirubinemic neonates. Methods: 63 healthy term newborns of >2.5 kg undergoing phototherapy were selected.  Plasma bilirubin and calcium levels were determined before and after termination of phototherapy. Results: The difference between pre- and post-phototherapy plasma calcium levels were found to be statistically significant (p<0.05).  The decline in plasma calcium level at times reached hypocalcemia threshold. Conclusion:  Phototherapy in icteric neonates lowers serum calcium level.