Reduced Hospital Mortality With Surgical Ligation of Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Premature, Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants: A Propensity Score-matched Outcome Study

Ann Surg. 2016 Mar;263(3):608-14. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001228.


Objectives: To evaluate outcomes after surgical ligation (SL) of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in premature, extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.

Background: Optimal management of PDA in this specialized population remains undefined. Currently, surgical therapy is largely reserved for infants failing medical management. To date, a large-scale, risk-matched population-based study has not been performed to evaluate differences in mortality and resource utilization.

Methods: Data on identified premature (<37 weeks) and ELBW (<1000 g) infants with PDA (International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, Clinical Modification, 747.0) and respiratory distress (769) were obtained from Kids' Inpatient Database (2003-2009).

Results: Overall, 12,470 cases were identified, with 3008 undergoing SL. Propensity score-matched analysis of 1620 SL versus 1584 non-SL found reduced mortality (15% vs 26%) and more routine disposition (48% vs 41%) for SL (P < 0.001). SL had longer length of stay and higher total cost (P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, SL mortality predictors were necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC; surgical odds ratio, 5.95; medical odds ratio, 4.42) and sepsis (3.43) (P < 0.006). Length of stay increased with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD; 1.77), whereas total cost increased with surgical NEC (1.82) and sepsis (1.26) (P < 0.04). Non-SL mortality predictors were NEC (surgical, 76.3; medical, 6.17), sepsis (2.66), and intraventricular hemorrhage (1.97) (P < 0.005). Length of stay increased with BPD (2.92) and NEC (surgical, 2.04; medical, 1.28) (P < 0.03). Total cost increased with surgical NEC (2.06), medical NEC (1.57), sepsis (1.43), and BPD (1.30) (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Propensity score-matched analysis demonstrates reduced mortality in premature/ELBW infants with SL for PDA. NEC and sepsis are predictors of mortality and resource utilization.

MeSH terms

  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / mortality*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Ligation
  • Male
  • Propensity Score
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome