Comparative Evaluation of the Effects of Indomethacin and Ibuprofen on Cerebral Perfusion and Oxygenation in Preterm Infants With Patent Ductus Arteriosus

J Pediatr. 1997 Oct;131(4):549-54. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(97)70060-x.


Objective: To compare the effects on cerebral perfusion and oxygenation of intravenous ibuprofen and indomethacin as treatment for patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants.

Study design: Sixteen infants receiving mechanical ventilation (< 31 weeks gestation) with patent ductus arteriosus received either 0.2 mg/kg indomethacin (n = 8) or 10 mg/kg ibuprofen (n = 8) infused over 1 minute. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure changes in cerebral blood volume and in oxidized cytochrome oxidase concentration. Cerebral blood flow velocity in the pericallosal artery was measured using Doppler ultrasonography.

Results: Indomethacin caused a significant reduction of CBV (maximal changes in cerebral blood volume: -320 +/- 171 microL/100 gm) and, in four of eight patients, a fall in oxidized cytochrome oxidase concentration (maximal change in oxidized cytochrome oxidase concentration in the eight patients: -0.68 +/- 0.98 mumol/L, NS). Cerebral blood flow velocity fell significantly. Ibuprofen caused no significant reduction of cerebral blood volume, oxidized cytochrome oxidase concentration, or cerebral blood flow velocity, whereas a significant increase of cerebral blood volume (+207 +/- 200 microL/100 gm) was observed after 60 minutes. Ductus closure was seen in six of eight infants after the first dose of indomethacin and in five of eight infants after the first dose of ibuprofen. The therapeutic cycle involved administration of a second and third dose, provided no side effects occurred. Treatment was effective in all infants.

Conclusion: Compared with indomethacin, treatment with ibuprofen does not significantly reduce cerebral perfusion and oxygen availability; the observed increase in cerebral blood volume requires further investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / therapy*
  • Echoencephalography
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / administration & dosage
  • Ibuprofen / pharmacology*
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use*
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology*
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy*
  • Male
  • Oximetry
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy*
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler


  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin