Use of acetaminophen for patent ductus arteriosus treatment: a single center experience

Author Department

Pediatrics; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date




Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) continues to be one of the most common complications associated with preterm birth. Up to 70% of infants born before 28 weeks gestational age may require some form of medical or surgical treatment for PDA closure. Recent studies have suggested acetaminophen to be a promising new alternative to indomethacin and ibuprofen for closure of PDA with potentially fewer adverse effects. Our aim for the study was to report our experience regarding the efficacy of acetaminophen compared to indomethacin for treatment of hemodynamically significant PDA (hs-PDA) in infants born in our institution.


Retrospective cohort study of all preterm infants born <34-week gestation with hs-PDA, treated with acetaminophen or indomethacin as the first line medication for hs-PDA. Primary outcome of successful PDA closure rate (small or no PDA) and secondary outcomes of short-term morbidities and immediate adverse events were compared between the two cohorts.


Of the 43 infants, 25 were treated with acetaminophen and 18 with indomethacin, as first line for hs-PDA. Successful PDA closure rate was slightly lower for acetaminophen compared to indomethacin, although statistically not significant (acetaminophen: 40% versus indomethacin: 55.5%, p = .31). No significant differences in short-term morbidities including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), late onset sepsis (LOS), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), or immediate side effects including oliguria, hyponatremia, elevated BUN/creatinine, thrombocytopenia were found between the two cohorts.


Acetaminophen treatment of hs-PDA resulted in similar successful PDA closure rate compared to indomethacin in our small cohort of patients.