Cord blood albumin as a predictor of neonatal jaundice

Authors:Suchanda Sahu, Rebecca Abraham, Joseph John, Miss Alina Ann Mathew, Anish Sam George.
Int J Biol Med Res. 2011; 2(1): 436 – 438  |  PDF File


Jaundice is one of the commonest problems that can occurs in a newborn. Many a times it is physiological in the newborn because liver is not mature enough to handle the bilirubin and there is an increased load of bilirubin due to a higher circulating erythrocyte volume, a shorter erythrocyte life span and a larger early labeled bilirubin peak. Early prediction will help in early discharge and prevent hospitalization of babies and mothers. Albumin is synthesized by liver and it helps in transport of unconjugated bilirubin. Forty newborns were inducted into the study with the following inclusion criteria: sequentially born term babies (gestational age > 37 weeks) from any mode of delivery, both genders, any birth weight, APGAR score of more than 7 at first and fifth minutes of life, and without Rh incompatibility between mother and child. They were estimated for cord blood serum albumin. Wherever necessary further laboratory tests were done for bilirubin and managed accordingly. Our study showed that 82 % of neonates who had albumin levels less than 2.8 gm/dl developed hyperbilirubinemia requiring phototherapy(PT) and about 12% needed exchange transfusion. At higher levels of albumin that is 2.8 - 3.3 gm/dl, 40% needed PT and with cord blood albumin > 3.3 gm/dl did not need any intervention for hyperbilirubinemia. Hence we can conclude that cord blood albumin levels more than 3.3 gm/dl is probably safe for early discharge of baby. Umbilical cord albumin levels are useful in predicting the development of jaundice in healthy term infants.