Acetaminophen for patent ductus arteriosus in extremely low-birth-weight neonates

Caitlyn M. Luecke, Caren J. Liviskie, Brandy N. Zeller, Zachary A. Vesoulis, Christopher McPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the current standard therapy for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), many neonates have contraindications to receiving or may fail NSAID therapy. To avoid surgical ligation, these patients may benefit from an alternative therapy. The objective of this research is to report the efficacy and safety of acetaminophen for the treatment of PDA in a cohort of premature neonates. METHODS Demographics and clinical course were retrospectively evaluated for all neonates admitted during the study period who received acetaminophen for the treatment of PDA. Initial acetaminophen dosing was 15 mg/kg every 6 hours (88% intravenous). Efficacy was analyzed from ductal constriction on echocardiogram as well as need for further PDA treatment. Markers of hepatic and renal function as well as respiratory support and neonatal morbidities were evaluated to describe the safety of acetaminophen. RESULTS Forty-one neonates were identified with a median birth weight of 760 g (IQR 614– 948 g) and median gestational age of 25 weeks (IQR 24–27 weeks). Treatment was initiated at a median postnatal age of 15 days (IQR 8–19 days) for a median duration of 7 days (IQR 6–10 days). Twenty-seven neonates (66%) required no further PDA treatment, with echocardiographic PDA closure documented in 10 neonates (24%) and reduced ductal size in 15 neonates (37%). No clinically significant adverse effects attributable to acetaminophen therapy were detected. CONCLUSIONS Most patients in this study responded to acetaminophen treatment for PDA, indicating that this therapy may be an option for extremely low-birth-weight neonates in order to avoid surgical ligation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Acetaminophen
  • Extremely low-birth-weight infant
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Patent ductus arteriosus


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