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Current Pediatric Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3963
ISSN (Online): 1875-6336

Pharmacotherapy for Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Current Options and Outstanding Questions

Author(s): Sara E. Rostas and Christopher C. McPherson

Volume 12 , Issue 2 , 2016

Page: [110 - 119] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/157339631202160506002028

Price: $65


Management of the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) represents an ongoing challenge in the care of extremely premature neonates. Determining the optimal treatment strategy requires careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits of available therapies. Surgical ligation results in reliable ductal closure, but may result in numerous short-term complications and have a negative impact on long-term outcome. Intravenous indomethacin was the first pharmacologic agent widely utilized for PDA closure. Intravenous indomethacin effectively closes the ductus arteriosus and prevents pulmonary hemorrhage and severe intraventricular hemorrhage, but fails to mitigate short-term morbidities and improve long-term outcomes. Intravenous ibuprofen represents an alternative therapy with fewer renal adverse effects. However, intravenous ibuprofen does not prevent severe intraventricular hemorrhage and also has concerning adverse effects, including bilirubin displacement and the potential to increase the risk of chronic lung disease. Enteral ibuprofen has also been investigated, although gastrointestinal adverse effects limit widespread utilization. Acetaminophen (paracetamol) represents an enticing novel therapy due to wide availability, low cost, and an appealing safety profile. Ongoing investigation is required to determine the role of this agent in PDA treatment algorithms. Pending these results, clinicians must weigh the potential risks and benefits of each therapy for individual neonates considering all available evidence.

Keywords: Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, indomethacin, patent ductus arteriosus, pharmacotherapy, premature infant.

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