Late oral acetaminophen versus immediate surgical ligation in preterm infants with persistent large patent ductus arteriosus

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Abstract

Objective

The study objective was to evaluate the association of oral acetaminophen therapy versus immediate surgical ligation with neonatal outcomes in infants with persistent patent ductus arteriosus.

Methods

We performed a retrospective cohort study of preterm infants born 28+6 weeks or less gestational age with persistent large patent ductus arteriosus being considered for surgical ligation after unsuccessful medical therapy. Infants in epoch 1 (July 2009 to June 2012) were immediately referred for ligation, and infants in epoch 2 (July 2012 to June 2015) were treated with oral acetaminophen and referred for ligation in the absence of improvement. The primary outcome was a composite of death or chronic lung disease.

Results

A total of 92 infants with median (interquartile range) gestational age 25.2 weeks (24.4-26.3) had persistent large patent ductus arteriosus (43 in epoch 1, 49 in epoch 2). Infants in epoch 2 had decreased surgical ligation (26 [53%] vs 31 [72%]; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.89) but increased chronic lung disease (36 [73%] vs 25 [58%]; aOR, 3.34; 95% CI, 1.05-10.58) and increased death/chronic lung disease of borderline significance (39 [80%] vs 29 [67%]; aOR, 3.09; 95% CI, 0.99-9.63). Infants in epoch 2 took longer to wean off of positive pressure ventilation (28.5 vs 24 days after enrollment; aOR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.31-0.85).

Conclusions

Late oral acetaminophen therapy for infants with persistent patent ductus arteriosus is associated with reduced surgical ligation but increased chronic lung disease. In light of a lack of improvement in clinical outcomes, the individual contributory effects of acetaminophen, surgical ligation, and prolonged exposure to patent ductus arteriosus require further study to define the optimal approach.

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