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June 26, 1972

Medical News

JAMA. 1972;220(13):1663-1674. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200130003002

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Value of continuous phototherapy confirmed for neonatal jaundice  A study conducted by investigators from the Medical College of Virginia fails to confirm the value of agar administration in treating neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.Nor did intermittent phototherapy with fluorescent light (12 hours a day for four days) significantly reduce serum bilirubin concentrations below levels recorded for untreated controls.Continuous phototherapy is the treatment of choice for hyperbilirubinemia, the investigators concluded. "During the first four days of life [it] is significantly superior to either intermittent phototherapy or agar-supplemented feedings in lowering the concentration of serum bilirubin in low-birthweight infants."In presenting these findings to a joint meeting of the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society, Harold M. Maurer, MD, explained that a team of investigators from Baltimore reported 1 1/2 years ago agar seemed to be of therapeutic value in reducing the severity of hyperbilirubinemia in full-term infants. Although