Electrical velocimetry for non-invasive monitoring of the closure of the ductus arteriosus in preterm infants

Eur J Pediatr. 2018 Feb;177(2):229-235. doi: 10.1007/s00431-017-3063-0. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants modifies cardiac output and induces adaptive changes in the hemodynamic situation. The present study aims to analyze those changes, through a non-invasive cardiac output monitor based on blood electrical velocimetry, in preterm babies. A prospective observational study of preterm infants with a gestational age of less than 28 weeks, and a hemodynamic significant PDA, requires intravenous ibuprofen or surgical closure. All patients were monitored with electrical velocimetry before treatment and through the following 72 h. Two groups were defined, ibuprofen and surgical closure. Variations of cardiac output were analyzed from the basal situation and at 1, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h on each group. During a 12-month period, 18 patients were studied. The median gestational age in the ibuprofen group (12/18) was 26+5 weeks (25+5-27+3) with a median birth weight of 875 (670-1010) g. The cardiac output index (CI) value was 0.29 l/kg/min (0.24-0.34). Among the patients with confirmed ductus closure (50%), a significant CI decrease was shown (0.24 vs 0.29 l/kg/min; P 0.03) after 72 h (three ibuprofen doses). A statistically significant decrease in systolic volume (SVI) was found: 1.62 vs 1.88 ml/kg, P 0.03 with a decrease in contractility (ICON), 85 vs 140, P 0.02. The gestational age in the surgical group (6/18) was 25+2 weeks (24-26+3) with a median weight of 745 (660-820) g. All patients in this group showed a decrease in the immediate postoperative CI (1 h after surgery) 0.24 vs 0.30 l/kg/min, P 0.05, and a significant decrease in contractility (ICON 77 vs 147, P 0.03). In addition, a no statistically significant decrease in SVI (1.54 vs 1.83 ml/kg, P 0.06), as well as an increase in systemic vascular resistance (10,615 vs 8797 dyn/cm2, P 0.08), were detected. This deterioration was transient without significant differences in the remaining periods of time evaluated.

Conclusion: The surgical closure of the PDA in preterm infants causes a transient deterioration of cardiac function linked to a documented decrease in the left ventricular output. The hemodynamic changes detected after pharmacological PDA closure are similar but those patients present a better clinical tolerance to changes in the cardiac output. What is Known: • Surgical ductus closure generates acute hemodynamic changes in cardiac output and left ventricular function. What is New: • The hemodynamic changes detected after pharmacological ductus closure are similar to those found in the surgical closure. Electrical velocimetry can detect those changes.

Keywords: Cardiac output; Ductus closure; Electrical velocimetry; Preterms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Output*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / physiopathology*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rheology / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Ibuprofen