Intravenous paracetamol treatment in the management of patent ductus arteriosus in extremely low birth weight infants

Neonatology. 2013;103(3):166-9. doi: 10.1159/000345337. Epub 2012 Dec 19.


Background: Treatment options for the closure of a hemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus (hsPDA) include medical therapy such as ibuprofen and indomethacin and surgical ligation.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of intravenous paracetamol in preterm infants with hsPDA whose feeding was contraindicated or had feeding intolerance.

Methods: Preterm infants with hsPDA were started on intravenous paracetamol treatment with parental consent. Paracetamol was administered at a dose of 60 mg/kg/day, in four divided doses, for a period of 3 days. In the absence of closure of hsPDA, treatment was extended up to 6 days, after which echocardiographic examination was performed.

Results: A total of 10 preterm infants were included in the study with a median gestational age of 27(4/7) weeks (minimum-maximum: 24-29) and a median birth weight of 775 g (590-990). The first dose of intravenous paracetamol was given after a median of 6 days (2-15). On echocardiographic examination, median internal ductal diameter was 2 mm (1.5-3), with a median left atrium-to-aortic root ratio of 1.95 (1.6-2.2). Intravenous paracetamol resulted in successful closure of hsPDA in all patients.

Conclusions: This study is the first case series in the literature which used intravenous paracetamol treatment for hsPDA. We believe that intravenous paracetamol could be used as an alternative drug for infants. Further prospective randomized-controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of intravenous paracetamol for the closure of hsPDA.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage*
  • Acetaminophen / blood
  • Cardiovascular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiovascular Agents / blood
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / diagnostic imaging
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Acetaminophen