"Silent" patent ductus arteriosus and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in low birth weight infants

J Perinat Med. 1995;23(6):493-9. doi: 10.1515/jpme.1995.23.6.493.


We conducted a clinical study on the antecedents of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in 290 premature RDS infants with < or = 1.75 kg birth weight (BW). They were enrolled in a prospective trial of indomethacin treatment for "silent" patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), screened by 2-D echocardiographic and pulsed Doppler evaluation on the third day of life. The trial took place at the NICU of the Pediatric Department of Padua University between January 1987 and December 1991. Out of 290 infants screened, 96 had evidence of "silent" PDA (33%) and 77 responded to indomethacin treatment (80%). Comprehensively 79 (27%) developed BPD, and from these the incidence of BPD was statistically increased in infants with "silent" PDA, 47 out of 96 (49 +/- 9%), with respect to 32 out of 194 (16 +/- 3%) preterm infants without PDA. Statistical analysis showed that in preterm infants with "silent" PDA the development of BPD was correlated at 99% C.L. to their low BWs (mean BW = 1.13 kg): in fact the mean and the mode of BW distributions were statistically lower in the presence of BPD, 1.03 kg versus 1.24 kg, and 0.88 kg versus 1.65 kg respectively. Moreover, the preterm infants with "silent" PDA unresponsive to the first course of indomethacin and/or submitted later to surgical closure, presented a statistically lower BW with respect to the early responders, 1.06 kg versus 1.18 kg, and at the same time a statistically higher incidence of BPD (63 +/- 20% versus 43 +/- 9%). From these data we conclude that, although "silent", PDA increase per se the incidence of BPD, even if benefits from an early induced closure. Furthermore, a lower BW of infants affected by "silent" PDA represents a contributing factor to the development of BPD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / complications*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / complications
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / drug therapy*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn