Digoxin therapy in low-birth-weight infants with patent ductus arteriosus

J Pediatr. 1978 Oct;93(4):652-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(78)80911-1.


Digoxin therapy was evaluated retrospectively in a group of 30, and prospectively in a group of 16 low-birth-weight, premature infants with cardiorespiratory symptoms due to persistent patency of the ductus arteriosus. The response to decongestive therapy was equivocal. Digoxin levels in serum varied between 1.5 and 13 ng/ml. Digoxin half-life in serum exceeded three days in four patients. Fourteen of the combined group of 46 infants had signs of toxicity of digoxin. High dosage, inadvertent overadministration, and variable clearance of digoxin, as well as special characteristics of the patients studied, are postulated as explanations for the high incidence of toxicity. This study suggests that digoxin therapy in low-birth-weight, premature infants with patent ductus arteriosus is not without risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Digoxin / adverse effects
  • Digoxin / blood
  • Digoxin / therapeutic use*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / complications*
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Heart Block / chemically induced
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Digoxin