Historically, prophylactic indomethacin (pINDO) has been used in some institutions for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in extremely low birthweight neonates while other institutions have used it as prophylaxis for intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of IVH and PDA with or without pINDO in premature neonates.


This was a retrospective, single-center study comparing neonatal outcomes in neonates weighing 1250 grams or less who received pINDO (pINDO group) to those who did not (No pINDO group) after our institution discontinued its routine use.


A total of 399 infants were included for analysis (pINDO, n = 141; No pINDO, n = 258). No difference was found between pINDO and No pINDO groups in incidence of any IVH (18% vs 14%, respectively) or severe IVH (7% vs 3%, respectively) when adjusting for gestational age and antenatal corticosteroids. Although the incidence of moderate-to-large PDA was lower in the pINDO group (13% vs 23%, respectively, adjusted p = 0.002), there was no significant difference for PDA requiring surgery (4% vs 3%, respectively). Results demonstrated a higher incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in the pINDO group (55% vs 41%, respectively, adjusted p = 0.014).


No difference in the incidence of IVH, severe IVH, or PDA requiring surgery was observed between groups, whereas an increase in BPD was seen with use of pINDO. These data support our institutional practice change to discontinue routine use of pINDO in premature neonates. Further research is needed to guide clinical practice.

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