Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Attempt to improve transcutaneous bilirubinometry: a double-blind study of Medick BiliMed versus Respironics BiliCheck
  1. D De Luca,
  2. E Zecca,
  3. M Corsello,
  4. E Tiberi,
  5. C Semeraro,
  6. C Romagnoli
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Neonatology Division, University Hospital “A Gemelli”, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  1. Dr D De Luca, Divisione di Neonatologia, Departimento di Scienze Pediatriche, Policlinico Universitario “A..Gemelli”, L.go Agostino Gemelli 8, 00168 Roma, Italia; dm.deluca{at}


Objectives: To compare the accuracy of a new transcutaneous bilirubinometer, BiliMed (Medick SA, Paris, France) with BiliCheck (Respironics, Marietta, GA, USA), a widely available instrument, and with total serum bilirubin measurement.

Design: A prospective double-blind study comparing the two devices was carried out. 686 healthy newborns needing measurement of their bilirubin were enrolled over a 4-month period. Serum and transcutaneous bilirubin measurements were taken with both devices within 15 minutes. The order of use of the instruments was randomised.

Setting: Well-baby nursery ward in a university hospital, tertiary referral centre.

Results: The linear regression analysis showed a better correlation between BiliCheck and serum bilirubin (r = 0.75) than between BiliMed and serum bilirubin (r = 0.45). BiliCheck variability (±2 SD of the mean bias from serum bilirubin) was within −87.2 to 63.3 μmol/l, while BiliMed variability was within −97.5 to 121.4 μmol/l. The receiver operating characteristic analysis (for serum bilirubin levels >205.2 μmol/l or >239.4 μmol/l) showed significantly higher areas under the curve for BiliCheck than those for BiliMed (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Despite the potential practical advantages of BiliMed, its reduced diagnostic accuracy in comparison with BiliCheck does not justify its use in clinical practice.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Received from the institutional ethics board.

  • Patient consent: Informed consent obtained.