OBJECTIVES: Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) remains a challenging issue in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, and its management varies widely. Our aim in this study was to document the natural course of ductus arteriosus in a cohort of VLBW infants who underwent conservative PDA management with no medical or surgical intervention.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study conducted in 2 European level-3 neonatal units.
RESULTS: A total of 368 VLBW infants were born within the study period. Two hundred and ninety-seven infants were free of congenital malformations or heart defects and survived to hospital discharge. Out of those, 280 infants received truly conservative PDA management. In 237 (85%) of nontreated infants, the PDA closed before hospital discharge. The Kaplan-Meier model was used to document the incidence proportion of PDA closure over time for different gestational age groups. The median time to ductal closure was 71, 13, 8, and 6 days in <26+0, 26+0 to 27+6, 28+0 to 29+6, and ≥30 weeks, respectively. For different birth weight groups, the median was 48, 22, 9, and 8 days in infants weighing <750, 750 to 999, 1000 to 1249, and 1250 to 1500 g, respectively. No statistically significant relationship was found between PDA closure before hospital discharge and neonatal morbidities.
CONCLUSIONS: The likelihood of PDA spontaneous closure in VLBW infants is extremely high. We provide in our findings a platform for future placebo-controlled trials focused on the smallest and youngest infants.
- Accepted April 25, 2017.
- Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics