Sir.—Leslie et al1 recently reported clinically significant differences between capillary and venous bilirubin values. We, too, have compared such paired samples2 and have also found significant differences, albeit in exactly the opposite direction, ie, higher values in capillary blood as opposed to the finding of Leslie et al that capillary blood levels underestimate venous levels. As our study differed as to both patient population and methodology, we wish to add our comments.
In contrast to the study by Leslie et al, our study was limited only to clinically icteric infants who did not receive phototherapy. Simultaneously drawn paired samples of capillary and venous blood were obtained in random order from 20 infants and analyzed blindly by the Astra-8 (Beckman Instrument Corp Inc, Brea, Calif) autoanalyzer. The mean bilirubin level of the total capillary group was not significantly different than the mean of the venous sample group: