Effects of phototherapy on platelet counts in low birthweight infants and on platelet production and life span in rabbits

H. M. Maurer, M. Fratkin, N. B. McWilliams, B. Kirkpatrick, D. Draper, J. C. Haggins, C. R. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of conventional phototherapy on platelets in vivo were studied in rabbits and in low birthweight infants. Rabbits were divided into three groups and individually treated continuously for 96 hours, with blue light, daylight, or no phototherapy. Incorporation of selenomethionine Se 75 was used to evaluate platelet production and life span. Platelet turnover was significantly increased in the blue light phototherapy group, and was also increased in the daylight group but to a lesser degree. Daily platelet counts and hematocrits were performed in infants weighing less than 2,000 gm at birth randomized at 24±12 hours of life to receive daylight phototherapy continuously for 96 hours (31 infants) or no phototherapy (26 infants). In 12 treated infants (38.7%) platelet counts fell below 150.000/cu mm whereas this occurred in only 3 (11.5%) of the controls. These two lower platelet count subgroups differed significantly in mean gestational age and birthweight with the phototherapy group being the more mature. Pre phototherapy, the mean platelet count of these 12 infants was lower than the mean of the entire control group, suggesting that these infants had borderline marrow reserve before phototherapy was given. These results suggest that phototherapy increases the rate of platelet turnover. When bone marrow compensation is inadequate, the platelet count may fall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalPediatrics
Volume57
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Maurer, H. M., Fratkin, M., McWilliams, N. B., Kirkpatrick, B., Draper, D., Haggins, J. C., & Hunter, C. R. (1976). Effects of phototherapy on platelet counts in low birthweight infants and on platelet production and life span in rabbits. Pediatrics, 57(4), 506-512.