Introduction: One of the old treatment methods for unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in neonates is blood exchange transfusion, which is expensive, possibly high-risk, and time-consuming. Today phototherapy as a novel method can be a good alternative.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the zinc level alternation after phototherapy in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia.
Patients and Methods: A descriptive-analytical study was conducted on 85 infants with hyperbilirubinemia who underwent phototherapy referred to the pediatric hospital in Bandar- Abbas, Iran from 2017 to 2018. Healthy infants over two days with idiopathic jaundice with a gestational age greater than 34 weeks and only breast-feed were enrolled. Serum zinc levels were measured before and after phototherapy, and their changes were evaluated.
Results: Out of 85 neonates, 42 (49.4%) were male and 43 (50.6%) were female with a mean gestational age of 37.83 ± 0.58 weeks and admission age of 4.15 ± 1.70 days. Zinc level before phototherapy was 84.98 ± 52.06 (μg/dL) and after phototherapy was 234.41 ± 280.98. The difference between serum zinc levels before and after the phototherapy was significant therefore, the zinc level significantly increased after the phototherapy.
Conclusion: Results showed that phototherapy increases serum zinc levels, which can cause zinc toxicity. It is wise to measure serum zinc levels before and during phototherapy and seek the appropriate medical care.