Aim: To determine whether ibuprofen use in VLBW infants is associated with increased serum bilirubin levels and impaired neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age compared to indomethacin.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated bilirubin data and outcome parameters of 178 VLBW infants treated with COX inhibitors for a haemodynamically relevant patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) between 1998 and 2003 in a single institution. In our department ibuprofen replaced indomethacin for PDA treatment in 2001, while clinical and echocardiagraphic criteria for the indication of PDA invention have remained unchanged.
Results: Ibuprofen and indomethacin therapy groups did not differ in their baseline clinical profile. Peak serum bilirubin concentration was 10.2 mg/dL in the ibuprofen group and 8.6 mg/dL in the indomethacin group (p < 0.01), while phototherapy duration did not differ. At 2 years of age neurodevelopmental outcome was similar in both groups. In a single case analysis, four cases of adverse neurodevelopmental outcome despite inconspicuous clinical course were identified in the ibuprofen group.
Conclusion: In VLBW infants with PDA, ibuprofen treatment was associated with higher bilirubin levels than indomethacin.