Bilirubin production in healthy term infants as measured by carbon monoxide in breath

David K. Stevenson, Hendrik J. Vreman, William Oh, Avroy A. Fanaroff, Linda L. Wright, James A. Lemons, Joel Verter, Seetha Shankaran, Jon E. Tyson, Sheldon B. Korones, Charles R. Bauer, Barbara J. Stoll, Lu Ann Papile, Felix Okah, Richard A. Ehrenkranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


To describe total bilirubin production in healthy term infants, we measured the end-tidal breath CO, corrected for ambient CO (ETCOc), with an automated sampler and electrochemical (EC) CO instrument. For infants of mothers with a negative Coombs' test, the ETCOc was 1.3 ± 0.7 μL/L (n = 397) and the serum bilirubin on day 3 postpartum was 73 ± 35 mg/L (n = 381). In contrast, the ETCOc for infants with ABO or Rh incompatibility, a positive direct Coombs' test, and bilirubin > 130 mg/L (n = 9) was significantly higher, 1.8 ± 0.8 μL/L, than for those who had a positive Coombs' test result but whose bilirubin was ≤130 mg/L (n = 12), 1.0 ± 0.5 μL/L (P <0.05). At 2 to 8 h postpartum seven term babies from mothers with insulin- dependent diabetes had ETCOc of 1.8 ± 0.7 μL/L, significantly higher than that in the other term infants [1.3 ± 0.7 μL/L (n = 390), P <0.04]. Their bilirubin concentration at 72 ± 12 h was also higher: 121 ± 45 mg/L (n = 7) vs 73 ± 34 mg/L (n = 374; P = 0.03). We conclude that ETCOc measurements may be helpful in understanding the mechanisms of jaundice in healthy term infants in a variety of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1934-1939
Number of pages6
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


Dive into the research topics of 'Bilirubin production in healthy term infants as measured by carbon monoxide in breath'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this