To examine whether oral administration of paracetamol as a first-line agent had a greater effect on the closure of a patent ductus arteriosus than the intravenous route.
We performed a retrospective study of preterm infants (<37 weeks of gestation) between 2012 and 2020 treated with oral or intravenous paracetamol as the first line for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) constriction and compared rates of ductal closure, course duration, cumulative dose, PDA characteristics, and serum levels.
Over the study period, 80 preterm infants received paracetamol, of which 50 received paracetamol as first-line treatment to augment constriction of the PDA. Closure rate was higher in the oral group (n = 15/19, 79%) compared to the intravenous group (n = 8/20, 40%, p < 0.01), and remained significant after adjusting for gestational age, length of treatment, and postnatal age (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03–0.67, p = 0.014, RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28–0.91). Eleven preterm infants received a combination of both oral and intravenous paracetamol with a closure rate of 45% (n = 5).
Oral administration of paracetamol as a first-line agent is more efficacious to constrict the PDA than the intravenous route, irrespective of gestational age or course duration.
Our retrospective study comparing the use of oral versus intravenous paracetamol as the first line for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) constriction in preterm infants demonstrates that oral administration of paracetamol is more efficacious to constrict the PDA than the intravenous route, irrespective of gestational age or course duration.
To our knowledge, this is the first published study (prospective or retrospective) to compare the efficacy of oral versus intravenous paracetamol as a first-line treatment for PDA closure in preterm infants.
Our finding may improve the rate of PDA closure when paracetamol is used as a first-line agent.
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Gover, A., Levy, P.T., Rotschild, A. et al. Oral versus intravenous paracetamol for patent ductus arteriosus closure in preterm infants. Pediatr Res 92, 1146–1152 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-022-01944-w
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