Objective: To examine whether a change in the approach to managing persistent patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) from early ligation to selective ligation is associated with an increased risk of abnormal neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Study design: In 2005, we changed our PDA treatment protocol for infants born at ≤27 6/7 weeks' gestation from an early ligation approach, with prompt PDA ligation if the ductus failed to close after indomethacin therapy (period 1: January 1999 to December 2004), to a selective ligation approach, with PDA ligation performed only if specific criteria were met (period 2: January 2005 to May 2009). All infants in both periods received prophylactic indomethacin. Multivariate analysis was used to compare the odds of a composite abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome (Bayley Mental Developmental Index or Cognitive Score <70, cerebral palsy, blindness, and/or deafness) associated with each treatment approach at age 18-36 months (n = 224).
Results: During period 1, 23% of the infants in follow-up failed indomethacin treatment, and all underwent surgical ligation. During period 2, 30% of infants failed indomethacin, and 66% underwent ligation after meeting prespecified criteria. Infants treated with the selective ligation strategy demonstrated fewer abnormal outcomes than those treated with the early ligation approach (OR, 0.07; P = .046). Infants who underwent ligation before 10 days of age had an increased incidence of abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome. The significant difference in outcomes between the 2 PDA treatment strategies could be accounted for in part by the earlier age of ligation during period 1.
Conclusion: A selective ligation approach for PDAs that fail to close with indomethacin therapy is not associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes at age 18-36 months.
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