Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Original Article(s)


Neonatal Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



Background: Exchange transfusion (ET) is an effective treatment for acute bilirubin encephalopathy and extreme neonatal hyperbilirubinemia (ENH). It can reduce mortality and morbidity. This study aimed to investigate the trends and risk factors of ENH requiring ET in hospitalized neonates in Iran.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records of neonates who underwent ET due to ENH was conducted from 2011 to 2021, in Shiraz, Iran. Clinical records were used to gather demographic and laboratory data. The quantitative data were expressed as mean±SD, and qualitative data was presented as frequency and percentage. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: During the study, 377 ETs were performed for 329 patients. The annual rate of ET decreased by 71.2% during the study period. The most common risk factor of ENH was glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (35%), followed by prematurity (13.06%), ABO hemolytic disease (7.6%), sepsis (6.4%), Rh hemolytic disease (6.08%), and minor blood group incompatibility (3.34%). In 28.52% of the cases, the cause of ENH was not identified. 17 (5.1%) neonates had acute bilirubin encephalopathy, of whom 6 (35.29%) had G6PD deficiency, 6 (35.29%) had ABO incompatibility, and 2 (11.76%) had Rh incompatibility.
Conclusion: Although the rate of ET occurrence has decreased, it seems necessary to consider different risk factors and appropriate guidelines for early identification and management of neonates at risk of ENH should be developed. The findings of the study highlighted the important risk factors of ENH in southern Iran, allowing for the development of appropriate prevention strategies. 


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