Phototherapy Devices Commonly Used in the United States and Their Performance Characteristics

DeviceManufacturerDistance to Patient (cm)Footprint Area (Length × Width, cm2)% Treatable BSASpectrum, Total (nm)Bandwidth* (nm)Peak (nm)Footprint Irradiance (μW/cm2/nm)
MinMaxMean ± SD
Light Emitting Diodes [LED]
    neoBLUENatus Medical, San Carlos, CA301152 (48 × 24)100420–54020462123730 ± 7
    PortaBedStanford University, Stanford, CA≥51740 (30 × 58)100425–54027463407667 ± 8
    BiliLite CW/BBOlympic Medical, San Carlos, CA452928 (48 × 61)100380–720695786108 ± 1
    BiliLite BBOlympic Medical, San Carlos, CA452928 (48 × 61)100400–55035445112217 ± 2
    BiliLite TL52Olympic Medical, San Carlos, CA452928 (48 × 61)100400–62669437132319 ± 3
    BiliBedMedela, McHenry, IL0693 (21 × 33)71400–56080450145936 ± 2
    MinBiliLiteOlympic Medical, San Carlos, CA45490 (25 diam)54350–800190580<1197 ± 5
    Phototherapy LitePhilips Inc, Andover, MA45490 (25 diam)54370–850200590<1175 ± 5
Halogen fiberoptic
    BiliBlanketOhmeda, Fairfield, CT0150 (10 × 15)24390–6007053393120 ± 6
    Wallaby II PretermPhilips, Inc, Andover, MA0117 (9 × 13)19400–5604551383016 ± 6
    Wallaby II TermPhilips, Inc, Andover, MA0280 (8 × 35)53400–560455136118 ± 1
    SpotLight 1000Philips, Inc, Andover, MA45490 (25 diam)54400–560455131116 ± 3
    PEP Model 2000PEP, Fryeburg, ME231530 (30 × 51)100400–71763445124928 ± 11
    Bili SoftGE Healthcare, Laurel, MD0825 (25 × 33)71400–6704045315225 ± 16
  • Data in Table 1 are expanded and updated from that previously reported by Vreman et al.3 The definitions and standards for device assessment are explained below.

  • EMISSION SPECTRAL QUALITIES: Measured data of the light delivered by each of the light sources are presented as the minimum, maximum and range. Light source emission spectra within the range of 300–700 nm were recorded after the device had reached stable light emission, using a miniature fiberoptic radiometer (IRRAD2000, Ocean Optics, Inc, Dunedin, FL). For precision based device assessment, the spectral bandwidth (*), which is defined as the width of the emission spectrum in nm at 50% of peak light intensity, is the preferred method to distinguish and compare instead of the total range emission spectrum (data usually provided by manufacturers). Emission peak values are also used to characterize the quality of light emitted by a given light source.

  • IRRADIANCE: Measured data are presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD), representing the irradiance of blue light (including spectral bandwidth), for each device's light footprint at the manufacturer-recommended distance. To compare diverse devices, the spectral irradiance (μW/cm2/nm) measurements were made using calibrated BiliBlanket Meters I and II (Ohmeda, GE Healthcare, Fairfield, CT), which were found to yield identical results with stable output phototherapy devices. This type of meter was selected from the several devices with different photonic characteristics that are commercially available, because it has a wide sensitivity range (400–520 nm with peak sensitivity at 450 nm), which overlaps the bilirubin absorption spectrum and which renders it suitable for the evaluation of narrow and broad wavelength band light sources. The devices have been found exceptionally stable during several years of use and agree closely after each annual calibration.

  • FOOTPRINT: The minimum and maximum irradiance measured (at the intervals provided or defined) in the given irradiance footprint of the device (length × width). The footprint of a device is that area which is occupied by a patient to receive phototherapy. The irradiance footprint has greater dimensions than the emission surface, which is measured at the point where the light exits a phototherapy device. The minimum and maximum values are shown to indicate the range of irradiances encountered with a device and can be used as an indication of the uniformity of the emitted light. Most devices conform to an international standard to deliver a minimum/maximum footprint light ratio of no lower than 0.4.

  • BSA: BODY SURFACE AREA refers to percent (%) exposure of either the ventral or dorsal planar surface exposed to light and Irradiance measurements are accurate to ±0.5.

  • All of the reported devices are marketed in the United States except the PortaBed, which is a non-licensed Stanford-developed research device and the Dutch Crigler-Najjar Association (used by Crigler-Najjar patients).