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Cord blood albumin as a predictor of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in healthy neonates

Objective: To determine the correlation between cord albumin levels and development of hyperbilirubinemia in term healthy neonates. Methods: A Prospective study was conducted on 165 term healthy neonates. Gender, gestational age, anthropometric measurements were taken into consideration. It was ascertained that there was no other risk factor for hyperbilirubinemia amongst the neonates. The neonates were divided into two groups A and B based on the cord albumin levels of <2.8 mg/dl and >2.8 mg/dl. Results: Of the 165 babies included in the study, 126 babies were under Group 1 and 39 under Group 2. 44 babies (34%) in group 1 and 28 babies (71.7%) in group 2 (p<0.0005) developed clinical icterus of which 16 in group 1 and 19 in group 2 required phototherapy (p<0.05). 1 baby in group 2 required exchange transfusion. The sensitivity and specificity of cord albumin in detecting neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in this study was determined to be 71.8% and 65.1%, respectively. Conclusion: Cord albumin levels help to determine and predict the possibility of hyperbilirubinemia among neonates. Hence this can help to identify the at risk neonates. So routine determination of cord albumin can be advocated to keep a track on at risk neonates.

Author(s): Gaurav Aiyappa KC