Cardiovascular instability after patent ductus arteriosus ligation in preterm infants: The role of hydrocortisone

M. D. Satpute, P. K. Donohue, L. Vricella, S. W. Aucott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective:Following patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligation, preterm infants may develop profound hypotension and respiratory failure. Prophylactic stress hydrocortisone (HC) has emerged as a therapy to prevent complications, postulating these infants do not synthesize steroids because of an immature hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The purpose of this study was to compare outcomes in infants who received stress HC before their PDA ligations to those who did not.Study Design:A retrospective chart review was performed of infants who underwent PDA ligations at our institution's neonatal intensive care unit. Data were collected on treatment with HC, and respiratory and cardiovascular support.Result:Gestational age (GA) and birth weight were lower in the HC group (24 vs 25 weeks, 632 vs 790 g), but age at time of surgery was similar (26 vs 21 days). Cardiorespiratory support was comparable between the groups pre-and post-operatively. In regression models that adjusted for GA, HC treatment was not independently related to respiratory support postoperatively, but was associated with a decrease in postoperative dopamine (2.2 mcg kg-1 min-1; P=0.03). Respiratory support postoperatively was predicted by preoperative respiratory support. GA and age at surgery were not independently associated with outcome.Conclusion:Preoperative stress HC was not associated with improved cardiorespiratory stability, regardless of GA. Further investigation is needed to identify infants who may benefit from this therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-689
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • adrenal insufficiency
  • patent ductus arteriosus Introduction
  • preterm infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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