Base excess and hematocrit predict response to indomethacin in very low birth weight infants with patent ductus arteriosus.Ital J Pediatr. 2019 Aug 22; 45(1):107.IJ
The treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants remains a challenge. The ability to predict which infants will respond to indomethacin could spare some from the risks of unnecessary medications. Our objective was to determine if indicators of acid-base homeostasis could predict response to indomethacin treatment for ductal closure, and thus help guide treatment decisions.
We performed a retrospective analysis of medical records of VLBW (< 1500 g) neonates with hemodynamically significant PDA born at our institution between January 2009 and December 2012; all infants included in the study were treated with indomethacin for ductal closure within the first 2 weeks of life. We extracted data for a number of clinical variables including gestational age, birth weight, blood chemistries, surfactant use, hematocrit, and blood gas parameters. Our primary outcome measure was successful closure of PDA following the first round of indomethacin. Using variables that were significant on initial testing, we created multivariable regression models to determine the independent association of selected variables with indomethacin response.
Of the 91 infants included in the study, 62 (68%) responded to the first course of indomethacin with successful ductal closure. Multivariable regression modeling revealed that both base excess and hematocrit were independently associated with indomethacin response; odds of PDA closure increased with increasing base excess (OR [odds ratio]: 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.36-2.60) and increasing hematocrit (OR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.01-1.45). The optimal cutoff value for base excess was - 4.56, with a sensitivity of 96.8% (95% CI: 89-100) and specificity of 79.3% (95% CI: 60-92); optimal cutoff value for hematocrit was 40, with 69.4% sensitivity (95% CI: 56-80) and 65.5% specificity (95% CI: 46-82).
Base excess and hematocrit may be independent predictors of indomethacin response in VLBW infants with PDA. Low-cost and readily accessible, acid-base indicators such as base excess could help guide treatment decisions.