Objective: The safety of surgical closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in very low birth weight premature neonates has been questioned because of associated morbidities. However, these studies are vulnerable to significant bias as surgical ligation has historically been utilized as "rescue" therapy. The objective of this study was to review our institutions' outcomes of surgical PDA ligation.
Methods: All neonates with operative weight of ≤1.00 kg undergoing surgical PDA ligation from 2003 to 2015 were analyzed. Records were queried to identify surgical complications, perioperative morbidity, and mortality. Outcomes included pre- and postoperative ventilator requirements, pre- and postoperative inotropic support, acute kidney injury, surgical complications, and 30-day mortality.
Results: One hundred sixty-six preterm neonates underwent surgical ligation. One hundred twenty-one (70.3%) had failed indomethacin closure. One hundred sixty-four (98.8%) patients required mechanical ventilation prior to surgery. At 17 postoperative days, freedom from the ventilator reached 50%. Of 109 (66.4%) patients requiring prolonged preoperative inotropic support, 59 (54.1%) were liberated from inotropes by postoperative day 1. Surgical morbidity was encountered in four neonates (2.4%): two (1.2%) patients had a postoperative pneumothorax requiring tube thoracostomy, one (0.6%) patient had a recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, and one (0.6%) patient had significant intraoperative bleeding. The 30-day all-cause mortality was 1.8% (n = 3); no deaths occurred intraoperatively.
Conclusion: In this retrospective investigation, surgical PDA closure was associated with low 30-day mortality and minimal morbidity and resulted in rapid discontinuation of inotropic support and weaning from mechanical ventilation. Given the safety of this intervention, surgical PDA ligation merits consideration in the management strategy of the preterm neonate with a PDA.
Keywords: outcomes; patent ductus arteriosus; surgical ligation.