Variation and comparative effectiveness of patent ductus arteriosus pharmacotherapy in extremely low birth weight infants

Nahed O. ElHassana, T. M. Bird, A. J. King, P. B. Ambadwar, R. D.B. Jaquiss, J. R. Kaiser, J. M. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) occurs in 70% of extremely low birth weight (ELBW, birth weight <1000 g) infants. Approximately 34% of ELBW infants with a PDA have spontaneous closure. Failure of the ductus arteriosus to close has been associated with multiple morbidities. OBJECTIVE: To examine variability over time and across hospitals in early therapeutic (2-7 day) use of indomethacin (INDO) vs ibuprofen (IBU) for PDA treatment in outborn ELBW infants and examine the outcomes and side effects of both pharmacological agents in this population. METHODS: Data were extracted from the Pediatric Health Information System. ELBW infants born between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010 and admitted on day of life 0 were eligible for inclusion. 732 infants had a PDA diagnosis and met inclusion criteria. We explored the variability in PDA pharmacotherapy over time and across hospitals. We compared outcomes of both agents for in-hospital mortality, need for surgical ligation, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, periventricular leukomalacia, renal failure, and persistent pulmonary hypertension. Statistical methods included chi square and multivariable regression analysis. Instrumental variable analysis was used to control for selection bias and omitted variables. RESULTS: There was large variability in PDA pharmacotherapy over time and across hospitals. INDO use declined as IBU use grew from 12.8 to 38.9%. There was no difference in hospital or NICU characteristics between high and low IBU using NICUs. Renal failure was more common in infants receiving INDO compared to IBU. CONCLUSION: We noted large variability in PDA pharmacotherapy. Renal failure was more common with INDO use. Until further studies to compare the long-term effects of both drugs, our data support IBU as the preferred medication for PDA pharmacotherapy in ELBW infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Extremely low birth weight infants
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin
  • Patent ductus arteriosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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