Background. Sn-mesoporphyrin (SnMP) is a potent inhibitor of bilirubin production. In our previous studies a single dose (6 µmol/kg birth weight) significantly moderated hyperbilirubinemia and reduced phototherapy (PT) time by >75% when administered within 24 hours of birth to preterm infants.
Objective. To directly compare the efficacy of SnMP and PT for controlling hyperbilirubinemia in term and near-term infants.
Methods. Two randomized, sequentially analyzed trials (Study I: male term infants; Study II: infants of both sexes and gestational age [GA] 245-265 days) were conducted. SnMP (6 µmol/kg birth weight) or PT (Phillips F20T12/BB lamps) was administered to paired infants according to strict criteria of plasma bilirubin levels and age. Time of enrollment and closure of cases and crossover, if necessary, of SnMP infants to PT or all infants to exchange transfusion were precisely defined in each pair. SnMP or PT was considered superior if the time between enrollment and closure of the case was reduced by >24 hours over the alternative treatment or if crossover had occurred.
Results. None of the 44 SnMP-treated infants required supplemental PT. Of the 22 pairs of term infants enrolled in Study I, SnMP proved superior to PT in 20 and equal in two. Of the 20 pairs of near-term infants enrolled in Study II, SnMP was superior in 12 and PT in two; six were tied. Two SnMP-treated infants were unpaired. The PT-treated infants in Study I required an average of 33 hours of treatment; those in Study II, 48 hours. None of the enrolled infants required exchange transfusion or interruption of breast-feeding.
In both studies, times between case enrollment and closure were reduced by >30 hours in SnMP compared with PT infants; requirements for additional days of medical observation and bilirubin measurements were also significantly less in SnMP infants.
Conclusion. A single dose of SnMP entirely supplanted the need for PT in jaundiced term and near-term newborns and significantly reduced medical resource use to monitor hyperbilirubinemia.
- Received November 14, 1994.
- Accepted February 3, 1995.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics