Objective: To compare the efficacy of enteral paracetamol and intravenous indomethacin for closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm neonates.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Level III neonatal intensive care unit.
Participants: 77 preterm neonates with birth weight ?1500 g and PDA size ?1.5 mm, with left to right ductal flow with left atrium to aortic root ratio >1.5:1; diagnosed by 2D-Echo within first 48 hours of life.
Intervention: Paracetamol drops through the infant feeding tube (15 mg/kg/dose 6 hourly for 7 days) or intravenous indomethacin (0.2 mg/kg/dose once daily for 3 days).
Outcome measures: Primary: PDA closure rate assessed by echocardiography. Secondary: need for surgical closure of PDA, renal impairment, gastrointestinal bleed, necrotising enterocolitis, hepatotoxicity, pulmonary hemorrhage, sepsis, hypothermia, retinopathy of prematurity, intraventricular hemorrhage, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and mortality.
Results: PDA closure rate was 100% (36/36) in enteral paracetamol group as compared to 94.6% (35/37) in intravenous indomethacin group (P=0.13). The secondary outcomes were also similar between the two groups. There was no occurrence of hepatotoxicity.
Conclusions: Enteral paracetamol is safe but not superior to intravenous indomethacin in the treatment of PDA in preterm neonates.