Physiological jaundice appears after the first day of life and has a mild form in most cases. High bilirubin levels can lead to jaundice of the basal ganglia and cause severe movement disorders in the form of extrapyramidal forms of cerebral palsy. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of bilirubin levels on the motor activity of infants and the relationship between bilirubin levels and selected sociometric and biometric characteristics.
The study included a group of 77 newborns of both sexes. Medical records were analyzed to determine their socio- and biometric characteristics. Bilirubin levels were evaluated using transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurement with a Minolta JM-103 jaundice meter according to Kramer’s method consisting in bilirubin measurements in different parts of the body. The head measurement was considered the most important for infants on the second or third day of life, and it was considered a reference for other variables. Analysis of neonatal activity was performed using video recording with a Sony camera with Full HD 1080p resolution (1920x1080, 60 fps). Each infant was assessed independently by three experts qualified in Prechtel's General Movements Assessment diagnosis.
No statistically significant differences in quantitative movement characteristics were observed between infants with normal and elevated bilirubin levels. The relationships were found between sociometric and biometric characteristics and bilirubin levels measured on the head. The analyses indicated that in the course of physiological jaundice, the bilirubin levels had no effect on their qualitative and quantitative movement parameters in the group of infants studied.