Conservative treatment sufficient for treating patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants—study

The research team of SMC reported that conservative treatment effectively treats patent ductus arteriosus, common among premature infants, by limiting medical fluids. The result is contrary to previous approaches that are highly dependent on surgery and medication.


The Samsung Medical Center (SMC) research team announced that they had proved for the first time in history that conservative treatment for patent ductus arteriosus is not inferior to the current treatment method. The study was published in the world-renowned pediatric journal JAMA Pediatrics.


Adopting the double-blind study approach, the team applied tracking observation by separating 142 premature infants born in 2014–2019 into two groups, namely the conservative treatment and the current treatment groups. For the current treatment group, 70 infants were administered with ibuprofen, while 72 were treated using the conservative method by adjusting the amount of medical fluids.


According to the research team, the closing of ductus arteriosus was 89% for the current treatment group and 82% for the conservative treatment group when examined at the point of discharge from the hospital. Upon analyzing bronchopulmonary dysplasia and death, which are other indexes for treatment effectiveness in patent ductus arteriosus, the ratio showed 50% for the current treatment group and 44% for the conservative treatment group, which were both preferable results for conservative treatment.


*Patent ductus arteriosus refers to the failure of the ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel necessary for blood circulation in the womb, to close after an infant is born.