Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm or low birth weight (or both) infants

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Authors

Arne Ohlsson1, Rajneesh Walia2, Sachin S Shah3

Background - Methods - Results - Characteristics of Included Studies - References - Data Tables and Graphs


1Departments of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada [top]
2Paediatrics/Neonatology, University of Birmingham and Walsall Manor Hospital, Walsall, UK [top]
3Department of Pediatrics, Surya Hospital for Women and Children, Pune, India [top]

Citation example: Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah SS. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm or low birth weight (or both) infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.pub6. [top]

Contact person

Arne Ohlsson

Departments of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
University of Toronto
600 University Avenue
Toronto ON M5G 1X5
Canada

E-mail: aohlsson@mtsinai.on.ca

Dates

Assessed as Up-to-date: 07 May 2014
Date of Search: 07 May 2014
Next Stage Expected: 19 August 2016
Protocol First Published: Issue 1, 2002
Review First Published: Issue 2, 2003
Last Citation Issue: Issue 2, 2015

What's new

Date / Event Description
19 August 2014
New citation: conclusions not changed

For this update we identified 6 new studies and one follow-up study from a previously reported trial. One study compared ibuprofen to placebo (Bagnoli 2013); one study compared continuous infusion of ibuprofen vs. bolus administration (Lago 2014); one study compared oral vs. iv administration of ibuprofen (Pistulli 2014); one study compared a high dose of ibuprofen vs. a standard dose of ibuprofen (Fesharaki 2012); one study compared standard vs. echocardiographically guided ibuprofen treatment (Bravo 2014); and one study compared oral ibuprofen with oral indomethacin for patent ductus arteriosus closure in preterm infants (Yadav 2014). One study reported on long-term follow-up in a limited cohort of an earlier published study (Gokmen 2011);

Thirty-three studies enrolling 2190 infants are included in this review.

Currently there are at least four ongoing trials (Gournay 2012; Su 2010; Sung 2014; Yeh 2012).

19 August 2014
Updated

This updates the review "Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants" (Ohlsson 2013).

History

Date / Event Description
16 November 2012
New citation: conclusions changed

This updates the review "Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants" (Ohlsson 2010).

For this update six additional studies were included; one study compared oral ibuprofen with placebo (Lin 2012); three studies compared oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen (Cherif 2008; Erdeve 2012; Gokmen 2011, one study compared iv high dose of ibuprofen versus standard dose of ibuprofen (Dani 2012) and one study compared early versus expectant administration of iv ibuprofen (Sosenko 2012). Two studies are awaiting classification.

The results, as before, show that ibuprofen is as effective as indomethacin in closing a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). There is no statistically significant increase in the risk of chronic lung disease with ibuprofen.

The incidence of necrotising enterocolitis is lowered by ibuprofen compared to indomethacin.

Kidney function is less affected by ibuprofen than indomethacin and less by oral compared to intravenous (iv) ibuprofen.

Oral ibuprofen may be more effective in closing a PDA than iv ibuprofen and reduces the risk of necrotising enterocolitis.

Ibuprofen is now recommended over indomethacin to close a PDA.

Additional studies are warranted to assess the effectiveness of high-dose ibuprofen versus a standard dose regimen and early versus expectant administration of ibuprofen.

Long-term follow-up studies are still warranted.

28 February 2010
Updated

This updates the review "Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants" (Ohlsson 2008).

This review was updated in February, 2010. One study comparing ibuprofen to placebo was identified and 5 new trials comparing ibuprofen to indomethacin were identified.

The results, as before, show that ibuprofen is as effective as indomethacin in closing a PDA. There is now clearly no statistically significant increase in the risk of chronic lung disease with ibuprofen. A new important finding is that ibuprofen reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis.

Ibuprofen is now recommended over indomethacin to close a PDA.

Long-term follow-up studies are still warranted.

26 June 2008
Amended

Converted to new review format.

19 September 2007
Updated

This review updates the existing review "Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants", published in Issue 4, 2005 of The Cochrane Library (Ohlsson 2005).

This update of the review conducted in August 2007 identified four previously not included trials (Adamska 2005, Aly 2007, Gimeno Navarro 2005, Pezzati 1999). In addition, two trials previously included as abstracts have now been published as full articles (Chotigeat 2003, Supapannachart 2002).

The current review includes a total of 16 trials enrolling 876 infants. The increase in sample size made the point estimates more precise and changed the results of one important outcome. In the previous review there was a statistically significant increase in chronic lung disease in the ibuprofen group. Although a trend towards an increase in chronic lung disease remained in this review, the summary estimates did not reach statistical significance. In this review, the outcome of serum/plasma levels of creatinine following treatment was included and the results showed significantly lower levels in the ibuprofen group. As in previous reviews, the risk of decreased urine output was lower in the ibuprofen group. There is not enough data available regarding the effectiveness of oral ibuprofen to close a patent ductus arteriosus. One case of pulmonary hypertension associated with ibuprofen treatment was reported in one trial.

Long-term neurodevelopmental data are still lacking.

Based on the available evidence clinicians may prefer one of the two drugs currently available for closure of a patent ductus arterious over the other:
a) Either drug is effective in closing a patent ductus arterious
b) Ibuprofen may be preferred because of its less negative impact on the kidney function
c) Indomethacin may be preferred because of the trend towards increase in chronic lung disease in the ibuprofen group and the potential risk of pulmonary hypertension associated with the use of ibuprofen

This review has previously been updated in 2005 (Ohlsson 2005). An updated search in July 2005 identified one trial of ibuprofen versus placebo, but the results were not reported unblinded to group. However, the search identified three trials that compared ibuprofen to indomethacin for the treatment of a PDA. The addition of the results from these three trials confirmed our previous findings that ibuprofen is no more effective than indomethacin and may cause more adverse effects. There were no important changes to the conclusions of that review.

An updated search in October 2004 found no new eligible trials for inclusion in this review.

There was no trial identified using mefenamic acid in the original review or in any of the updates.

19 September 2007
New citation: conclusions changed

Substantive amendment

Abstract

Background

Indomethacin is used as standard therapy to close a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) but is associated with reduced blood flow to several organs. Ibuprofen, another cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, may be as effective as indomethacin with fewer adverse effects.

Objectives

To determine the effectiveness and safety of ibuprofen compared with indomethacin, other cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, placebo or no intervention for closing a patent ductus arteriosus in preterm, low birth weight, or preterm and low birth weight infants.

Search methods

We searched The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Clincialtrials.gov, Controlled-trials.com, and www.abstracts2view.com/pas in May 2014.

Selection criteria

Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of ibuprofen for the treatment of a PDA in newborn infants.

Data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis conformed to the methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group.

Main results

We included 33 studies enrolling 2190 infants.

Two studies compared intravenous (iv) ibuprofen versus placebo (270 infants). In one study (134 infants) ibuprofen reduced the incidence of failure to close a PDA (risk ratio (RR) 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51 to 0.99; risk difference (RD) -0.18, 95% CI -0.35 to -0.01; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 6, 95% CI 3 to 100). In one study (136 infants), ibuprofen reduced the composite outcome of infant mortality, infants who dropped out, or infants who required rescue treatment (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.89; RD -0.22, 95% CI -0.38 to -0.06; NNTB 5, 95% CI 3 to 17). One study (64 infants) compared oral ibuprofen with placebo and noted a significant reduction in failure to close a PDA (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.62; RD -0.44, 95% CI -0.65 to -0.23; NNTB 2, 95% CI 2 to 4).

Twenty-one studies (1102 infants) reported failure rates for PDA closure with ibuprofen (oral or iv) compared with indomethacin (oral or iv). There was no significant difference between the groups (typical RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.20; I2 = 0%; typical RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.05; I2 = 0%). The risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) was reduced for ibuprofen (16 studies, 948 infants; typical RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.93; typical RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.08 to -0.01; NNTB 20, 95% CI 13 to 100; I2 = 0% for both RR and RD). The duration of ventilatory support was reduced with ibuprofen (oral or iv) compared with iv or oral indomethacin (six studies, 471 infants; mean difference (MD) -2.4 days, 95% CI -3.7 to -1.0; I2 = 19%).

Eight studies (272 infants) reported on failure rates for PDA closure in a subgroup of the above studies comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin (oral or iv). There was no significant difference between the groups (typical RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.27; typical RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.09). The risk of NEC was reduced with oral ibuprofen compared with indomethacin (oral or iv) (seven studies, 249 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.73; typical RD -0.13, 95% CI -0.22 to -0.05; NNTB 8, 95% CI 5 to 20; I2 = 0% for both RR and RD). There was a decreased risk of failure to close a PDA with oral ibuprofen compared with iv ibuprofen (four studies, 304 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.64; typical RD -0.21, 95% CI -0.31 to -0.12; NNTB 5, 95% CI 3 to 8). Transient renal insufficiency was less common in infants who received ibuprofen compared with indomethacin. High dose versus standard dose of iv ibuprofen, early versus expectant administration of iv ibuprofen, echocardiographically guided iv ibuprofen treatment vs. standard iv ibuprofen treatment and continuous infusion of ibuprofen vs. intermittent boluses of ibuprofen and long-term follow-up were studied in too few trials to draw any conclusions.

Authors' conclusions

Ibuprofen is as effective as indomethacin in closing a PDA and currently appears to be the drug of choice. Ibuprofen reduces the risk of NEC and transient renal insufficiency. Oro-gastric administration of ibuprofen appears as effective as iv administration. To make further recommendations, studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of high-dose versus standard-dose ibuprofen, early versus expectant administration of ibuprofen, echocardiographically guided versus standard iv ibuprofen, and continuous infusion versus intermittent boluses of ibuprofen. Studies are lacking evaluating the effect of ibuprofen on longer-term outcomes in infants with PDA.

Plain language summary

Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm or low birth weight (or both) infants

 

Review question

Is the use of ibuprofen compared with indomethacin, other cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors, placebo or no intervention for closing a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) safe and effective in improving the rate of ductal closure and other important clinical outcomes in preterm or low birth weight (or both) infants?

Background

A common complication for very preterm (premature) or very small babies is PDA. PDA is an open vascular channel between the lungs and the heart. It should close after birth, but sometimes remains open because of the baby's immature stage of development. PDA can lead to life-threatening complications. The usual treatment for PDA has been indomethacin, a medicine that will successfully close the PDA in the majority of babies, but can cause serious side effects. Another option is the drug ibuprofen.

Study characteristics

We searched scientific databases for randomised controlled trials (clinical studies where people are randomly put into one of two or more treatment groups) in preterm infants (born at less than 37 weeks into pregnancy), low birth weight (less than 2500 g) infants, or preterm and low birth weight infants with a PDA. The treatments were ibuprofen, indomethacin, another cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, placebo or no treatment. The evidence is current to May 2014.

Results

This review of 33 trials (2190 infants) found that ibuprofen was as effective as indomethacin to close a PDA and caused fewer transient side effects on the kidneys and reduced the risk of necrotising enterocolitis, a serious condition that affects the gut. Whether ibuprofen confers any important long-term advantages on development is not known. Additional long-term follow-up studies to 18 months of age and to the age of school entry are needed to decide whether ibuprofen or indomethacin is the drug of choice for closing a PDA.

Background

Description of the condition

Normal fetal circulation is dependent on the placenta and the patency of the ductus arteriosus (PDA) (Mathew 1998). Following birth and with the separation of the placenta and initiation of breathing, the circulation changes and closure of the ductus starts immediately (Mathew 1998). However, in about a third of low birth weight (LBW; less than 2500 g) infants, the PDA remains open, especially during the early days of life (Ellison 1983). In preterm neonates, the PDA often fails to close. The haemodynamic instability caused by the left to right shunt and associated run off causes renal or gastrointestinal effects including spontaneous perforation and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), chronic lung disease (CLD) and, if not managed, may lead to mortality (Cotton 1979). The presence of a PDA is associated with reduced middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (Weir 1999).

The surgical closure of the symptomatic PDA reduces duration of mechanical ventilation, improves haemodynamics and improves lung compliance (Cotton 1978; Naulty 1978). However, medical treatment is still considered the treatment of choice in the majority of cases because of the risks related to the surgery. In a large Canadian cohort of 3779 very low birth weight (VLBW, less than 1500 g) infants, 28% required treatment for a PDA; 75% were treated with indomethacin alone, 8% with surgical ligation alone and 17% required both indomethacin and surgical ligation (Lee 2000). Infants with lower birth weight (BW) were more likely to be treated surgically (Lee 2000).

Description of the intervention

Prostaglandins play a significant role in keeping the ductus arteriosus patent (Mathew 1998). PDA-related morbidity and mortality reduce with the use of indomethacin, which acts as an inhibitor of prostaglandin-forming cyclo-oxygenase enzymes (Mahony 1982; Stefano 1991). However, indomethacin use has been associated with transient or permanent derangement of renal function, NEC, gastrointestinal haemorrhage or perforation, alteration of platelet function and impairment of cerebral blood flow/cerebral blood flow velocity (Edwards 1990; Ohlsson 1993; Seyberth 1983; Wolf 1989). These negative effects of indomethacin are possibly related to mechanisms other than inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis.

In one large trial of 1202 extremely low-birth-weight infants, indomethacin prophylaxis did not significantly improve the rate of survival without neurosensory impairment at 18 months despite the fact that it reduced the frequency of PDA and severe periventricular and intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) (Schmidt 2001). One Cochrane review confirmed that prophylactic treatment with indomethacin has a number of short-term benefits, in particular a reduction in symptomatic PDA, the need for ductal ligation and severe IVH (Fowlie 2010). The same review found no evidence of either benefit or harm concerning longer-term outcomes including neurodevelopment (Fowlie 2010).

How the intervention might work

The complications associated with the use of indomethacin have encouraged the search for an alternate drug to treat a PDA. Ibuprofen, a propionic acid derivative and non-selective cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, has been reported to close a PDA, but without gastrointestinal haemodynamic disturbance and potentially harmful cerebral adverse effects (Chemtob 1991; Coceani 1979; Varvarigou 1996). Ibuprofen has some neuro-protective effects in animal models (Chemtob 1990; Pellicer 1999). Ibuprofen enhances cerebral autoregulation without affecting cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolism, or intestinal or renal haemodynamics (Grosfeld 1983; Hardy 1996; Kaplan 1994).

Another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, mefenamic acid, has been reported to close a PDA (Ito 1994; Niopas 1994; Sakhalkar 1992). Mefenamic acid is currently being used in Japan to close a PDA (Uchiyama 2011), but as of July 2014, we have not been able to identify any randomised studies.

Why it is important to do this review

One previous meta-analysis of three trials of small sample size (Patel 2000; Van Overmeire 1997; Van Overmeire 1998) suggested that ibuprofen may be as effective as indomethacin in closing a PDA (Ohlsson 2000). The meta-analysis included 176 neonates who were randomised to either ibuprofen (10 mg/kg followed at 24 and 48 hours later by a dose of 5 mg/kg) or indomethacin (0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour interval for three doses). The risk ratio (RR) for failure of PDA closure using ibuprofen versus indomethacin was 1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85 to 1.17) (Ohlsson 2000). This meta-analysis was included in a commentary on a publication of a randomised controlled trial (Patel 2000), and the publication type did not allow for detailed description of the methodology used or the inclusion of outcomes other than ductal closure (Ohlsson 2000). Additional trials have been published since the year 2000. Therefore, a systematic review according to Cochrane methodology was justified as were the current and previous updates as we identified new trials.

Objectives

Primary objective

  • To determine the effectiveness and safety of ibuprofen compared with indomethacin, other cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, placebo or no intervention for closing a patent ductus arteriosus in preterm, low birth weight, or preterm and low birth weight infants.

Secondary objectives

  • To determine the effectiveness and safety of ibuprofen to close a PDA in relation to gestational age, birth weight, method used to diagnose a PDA and dosing regimen for ibuprofen.

Methods

Criteria for considering studies for this review

Types of studies

Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials.

Types of participants

Preterm infants less than 37 weeks' gestational age or LBW infants (less than 2500 g) with a PDA diagnosed either clinically or by echocardiographically (ECHO) guided criteria in the neonatal period (less than 28 days).

Types of interventions

Therapeutic use of ibuprofen (orally or intravenously (iv)) for closure of PDA compared with control infants who received indomethacin, other cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors, placebo or no intervention, given orally or iv. For the update in 2012, we included studies that compared the effectiveness of oral ibuprofen with placebo, studies that compared oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen, studies that compared high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose ibuprofen and studies that compared 'early' ibuprofen treatment versus expectant management for closure of PDA. For this update in 2014, we included studies that compared ECHO-guided ibuprofen treatment versus standard ibuprofen treatment and studies that compared continuous infusion of ibuprofen versus standard boluses of ibuprofen.

Types of outcome measures

Primary outcomes
  • Failure of permanent PDA closure within one week of administration of the first dose of ibuprofen (PDA diagnosed either clinically or by ECHO criteria).
Secondary outcomes
  • All-cause mortality during initial hospital stay.
  • Neonatal mortality (mortality during the first 28 days of life).
  • Infant mortality (mortality during the first year of life).
  • Re-opening of the ductus arteriosus.
  • Need for surgical closure of the PDA.
  • Need for treatment with indomethacin to close the PDA*.
  • Duration of ventilator support (days).
  • Duration of need for supplementary oxygen (days).
  • Pneumothorax.
  • Pulmonary haemorrhage*.
  • Pulmonary hypertension*.
  • Chronic lung disease (CLD) (defined as oxygen requirement at 28 days' postnatal age in addition to compatible clinical and roentgenographic findings).
  • CLD (defined as oxygen requirement at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age (PMA) in addition to compatible clinical and roentgenographic findings).
  • CLD (age at diagnosis not stated)*.
  • Intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) (grades I to IV).
  • Severe IVH (grades III and IV).
  • Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL).
  • Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) (any stage).
  • Intestinal perforation*.
  • Gastrointestinal bleed.
  • Time to full enteral feeds (postnatal age at time of achieving full enteral feeds).
  • Time to regain birth weight* (days).
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (according to the international classification of ROP).
  • Definite sepsis (clinical symptoms and signs of sepsis and a positive bacterial culture in a specimen obtained from normally sterile fluids or tissue obtained at postmortem).
  • Oliguria (defined as less than 1 mL/kg/hour).
  • Serum/plasma levels of creatinine (µmol/L) after treatment*.
  • Increase in serum/plasma levels of creatinine (μmol/L) after treatment*.
  • Cystatin-C plasma levels (mg/dL) after treatment***.
  • Duration of hospitalisation (total length of hospitalisation from birth to discharge home or mortality) (days).
  • Neurodevelopmental outcome (assessed by a standardised and validated assessment tool, a child developmental specialist or both) at any age reported (outcome data grouped at 12, 18 and 24 months if available).
  • Bilirubin albumin binding*.
  • Proportion of infants who required rescue treatment for PDA (indomethacin or surgery) died or dropped out to study day 14**.
  • Other adverse effects reported by the authors.

Outcomes marked with an asterisk (*) were not included in the original protocol but in the update of this review in August 2007. These outcomes were included in updates of the review as they were closely related to previous outcomes already included and were considered to be of importance to establish the effectiveness and safety of ibuprofen versus indomethacin. The outcome 'Proportion of infants that required rescue treatment for PDA (indomethacin or surgery) died or dropped out through study day 14** ' was the primary outcome of the only study (until this update) that compared iv ibuprofen with placebo (Aranda 2005), and was, therefore, included from the 2007 update. 'Cystatin-C plasma levels (mg/dL) after treatment*** ' were included in the 2012 update.

Search methods for identification of studies

See: Cochrane Neonatal Review Group (CNRG) search strategy.

This review is the fifth update of the original review. We searched The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Clincialtrials.gov, Controlled-trials.com, www.abstracts2view.com/pas, the reference lists of identified studies, meta-analyses and personal files in May 2014. We subscribed to weekly updates from Ovid AutoAlert on the topic (Ovid AutoAlert (autorun@ovid.com)).

For this update, as with previous updates, the search started by review of personal files and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library); we searched MEDLINE (1966 to May 2014) using MeSH terms: ibuprofen (or mefenamic acid), newborn, infant, premature (or preterm) or low birth weight infant, patent ductus arteriosus or PDA. Other data bases searched included: EMBASE (1980 to May 2014), CINAHL (1982 to May 2014) and the reference list of identified trials and abstracts published in Pediatric Research (1991 to April Issue, 2005, and electronically on the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) website from 2006 to 2014) (www.abstracts2view.com/pas) from conference proceedings of PAS and the European Society of Pediatric Research. We identified no new trials since the first publication of this review in the searches undertaken in October 2004. The searches in July 2005 identified four new trials of which one was published in abstract form. A search by first review author (AO) and co-authors of any abstracts identified in Pediatric Research was done in July 2005 in MEDLINE and EMBASE to try to identify any corresponding full manuscripts published. The searches in August 2007 identified four additional studies. In the 2012 update of the review, we identified six additional trials. In this 2014 update of the review, we identified seven relevant publications, six were reports of previously unpublished trials and one was a follow-up study of a previously published trial. We reviewed reference lists of published narrative and systematic reviews. We sought unpublished data. We contacted authors of some published trials to clarify or provide additional information. We searched the literature for any reports (regardless of publication type) of pulmonary hypertension associated with the treatment with ibuprofen or indomethacin. We did not apply any language restrictions.

Data collection and analysis

We used the standard review methods of the CNRG in data collection and analysis. One review author (AO) performed the updates conducted in 2005, 2007 and 2010. All three review authors (AO, RW, SS) conducted the 2012 and 2014 updates.

Selection of studies

In the original review, two review authors (AO, SS) assessed all abstracts and published full reports identified as potentially relevant by the literature search for inclusion. For the 2012 and 2014 updates, all three review authors (AO, RW, SS) assessed the articles for possible inclusion.

Data extraction and management

Each review author independently extracted data using pre-designed data abstraction forms. The review authors compared results and resolved differences. One review author (AO) entered data into Review Manager 5 (RevMan 2014), and the other review authors (RW and SS) cross-checked the printout against their own data abstraction forms and corrected errors by consensus.

For the studies identified as abstracts, we contacted some primary authors to ascertain whether a full publication was available if the full paper was not identified in an electronic database.

We obtained information from the primary author if the published article provided inadequate information for the review. We independently assessed retrieved articles and abstracted the data.

Assessment of risk of bias in included studies

The review authors independently evaluated the quality of included trials using the following criteria.

  • Was randomisation blinded?
  • Were the interventions blinded?
  • Was the outcome measure assessment blinded?
  • Was follow-up complete?

There were three potential answers to these questions - yes, cannot determine and no.

For the update in 2010 and the subsequent updates, we evaluated the following issues and entered them into the 'Risk of bias' table.

  • Sequence generation (checking for possible selection bias). Was the allocation sequence adequately generated?

For each included study, we categorised the method used to generate the allocation sequence as: 

    • adequate (any truly random process, e.g. random number table; computer random number generator);
    • inadequate (any non-random process, e.g. odd or even date of birth; hospital or clinic record number);
    • unclear.
  • Allocation concealment (checking for possible selection bias). Was allocation adequately concealed?

For each included study, we categorised the method used to conceal the allocation sequence as:

    • adequate (e.g. telephone or central randomisation; consecutively numbered sealed opaque envelopes);
    • inadequate (open random allocation; unsealed or non-opaque envelopes, alternation; date of birth);
    • unclear.
  • Blinding (checking for possible performance bias). Was knowledge of the allocated intervention adequately prevented during the study? At study entry? At the time of outcome assessment?

For each included study, we categorised the methods used to blind study participants and personnel from knowledge of which intervention a participant received. Blinding was assessed separately for different outcomes or classes of outcomes. We categorised the methods as: 

  • adequate, inadequate or unclear for participants;
  • adequate, inadequate or unclear for personnel;
  • adequate, inadequate or unclear for outcome assessors.

In some situations there may be partial blinding, for example where outcomes were self reported by unblinded participants but they were recorded by blinded personnel without knowledge of group assignment. Where needed, 'partial' was added to the list of options for assessing quality of blinding.

  • Incomplete outcome data (checking for possible attrition bias through withdrawals, drop-outs, protocol deviations). Were incomplete outcome data adequately addressed?

For each included study and for each outcome, we described the completeness of data including attrition and exclusions from the analysis. We noted whether attrition and exclusions were reported, the numbers included in the analysis at each stage (compared with the total randomised participants), reasons for attrition or exclusion where reported and whether missing data were balanced across groups or were related to outcomes. Where sufficient information was reported or supplied by the trial authors, we re-included missing data in the analyses. We categorised the methods as: 

    • adequate (less than 10% missing data);
    • inadequate (10% or more missing data);
    • unclear.
  • Selective reporting bias. Were reports of the study free of suggestion of selective outcome reporting?

For each included study, we described how we investigated the possibility of selective outcome reporting bias and what we found. We assessed the methods as:

    • adequate (where it was clear that all of the study's pre-specified outcomes and all expected outcomes of interest to the review were reported);
    • inadequate (where not all the study's pre-specified outcomes were reported; one or more reported primary outcomes were not pre-specified; outcomes of interest were reported incompletely and so could not be used; study did not include results of a key outcome that would have been expected to have been reported);
    • unclear. 
  • Other sources of bias. Was the study apparently free of other problems that could put it at a high risk of bias?

For each included study, we described any important concerns we had about other possible sources of bias (e.g. whether there was a potential source of bias related to the specific study design or whether the trial was stopped early due to some data-dependent process). We assessed whether each study was free of other problems that could put it at risk of bias as:

  • yes, no or unclear.  

If needed, we planned to explore the impact of the level of bias through undertaking sensitivity analyses.

For the original review, two review authors independently conducted quality assessments of studies not blinded to authors, institution or journal of publication. One review author (AO) conducted the updates in 2005, 2007 and 2010. All three review authors conducted the 2012 and 2014 updates.

Measures of treatment effect

The statistical analyses followed the recommendations of the CNRG. The estimates of treatment effects included RR, risk difference (RD), number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) or additional harmful outcome (NNTH) for dichotomous outcomes, and mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes. All estimates of treatment effects are reported with 95% CI.

Assessment of heterogeneity

We performed heterogeneity tests including the I2 test to assess the appropriateness of pooling the data using the following categories for heterogeneity: less than 25% no heterogeneity; 25% to 49% low heterogeneity; 50% to 74% moderate heterogeneity and 75% or greater high heterogeneity (Higgins 2003).

Assessment of reporting biases

To ascertain the possibility of publication bias, we produced a funnel plot for the primary outcome of 'Failure to close a PDA (after single or three doses)' (Analysis 3.1) and for the outcome of NEC (Analysis 3.17). Both funnel plots were quite symmetric indicating that there was no obvious indication of publication bias.

Data synthesis

We performed meta-analyses using Review Manager 5 (RevMan 2014). For estimates of typical RR and RD, we used the Mantel-Haenszel method. We calculated mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes. For measured quantities, we used the inverse variance method. We used a fixed-effect model for all meta-analyses. We used the formulas proposed by Hozo and co-workers to estimate means and standard deviations (SD) from medians and ranges presented by the authors of some of the included studies (Hozo 2005).

Subgroup analysis and investigation of heterogeneity

We planned the following subgroup analyses:

  • gestational age (less than 28 weeks, 28 to 32 weeks, 33 to 36 weeks);
  • BW (less than 1000 g, 1000 to 1500 g, 1501 to 2500 g);
  • method used to diagnose a PDA (by ECHO criteria or only by clinical criteria);
  • a dosing regimen of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg followed by ibuprofen 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later, or indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals for three doses;
  • oral ibuprofen versus indomethacin (this was added in 2008 as a new comparison as studies now have used oral ibuprofen) (Ohlsson 2008);
  • oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen (this was included as a new comparison in 2013 as studies now have been published assessing this comparison) (Ohlsson 2013);
  • timing of ibuprofen administration as early versus expectant management (this was included as a new comparison in 2013 as one trial studied this intervention) (Ohlsson 2013);
  • higher dosing regimen of ibuprofen 20 mg/kg/day followed by ibuprofen 10 mg/kg/day for two doses compared with the standard dose of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg/day followed by ibuprofen 5 mg/kg/day for two doses (this was included in 2013 as a new comparison as one trial studied this intervention) (Ohlsson 2013);
  • ECHO-guided ibuprofen treatment versus standard ibuprofen treatment (this was included in 2014 as a new comparison as one trial studied this intervention);
  • continuous infusion of ibuprofen versus standard boluses of ibuprofen (this was included in 2014 as a new comparison as one trial studied this intervention).

The pre-specified subgroup analyses excluding studies that used only one dose of medication and studies that were published as abstracts only were abandoned for the updates in 2007, 2010, 2012 and this 2014 update of the review. Only one study used a single dose and we identified only one abstract. We incorporated the results of these studies with the other studies. All studies used ECHO criteria to diagnose a PDA.

Results

Description of studies

We identified one study comparing oral ibuprofen with placebo for the update in 2013 (Lin 2012). For the same update, we added a comparison of oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen as three trials studied this comparison (Cherif 2008; Erdeve 2012; Gokmen 2011). We included one study that compared iv high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose regimen of ibuprofen (Dani 2012). We included one additional comparison for early versus expectant administration of iv ibuprofen (Sosenko 2012). Thus, we included six additional studies for the update in 2013. For the update in 2014, we identified and included six additional trials (Bagnoli 2013; Bravo 2014; Fesharaki 2012; Lago 2014; Pistulli 2014; Yadav 2014), and one study reported on long-term follow-up for Gokmen 2011. We identified four ongoing trials (NCT01149564; NCT01630278; NCT01758913; NCT02128191).

Included studies

Intravenous ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 1)

The study by Aranda and co-workers was a multicentre study conducted at 11 sites in the US and published as an abstract in 2005 (full study published in 2009) (Aranda 2005).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy and safety of iv ibuprofen (L-lysine) with placebo for the early closure of a non-symptomatic PDA within 72 hours of birth in extremely low-birth-weight preterm infants with evidence of ductal shunting by ECHO.
  • Population: 136 preterm infants (PMA < 30 weeks, BW 500 to 1000 g) with evidence of ductal shunting by ECHO within 72 hours after birth.
  • Intervention: infants were allocated to either a three-day treatment course of iv ibuprofen of 10 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg (68 infants) or placebo (saline) (68 infants).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome measure was the proportion of infants that required rescue treatment for PDA (indomethacin or surgery), died or dropped out prior to study day 14. Secondary outcomes included mortality, need for PDA ligation, IVH, PVL, NEC, ROP, pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, ROP, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 28 days), BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA).

The study by Bagnoli and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Siena, Italy (Bagnoli 2013).

  • Objective: to evaluate the renal adverse effects of iv ibuprofen.
  • Population: 134 preterm newborns with ECHO-confirmed PDA (PMA less than 32 weeks, BW less than 1500 g, postnatal age greater than 72 hours.
  • Intervention: infants were allocated to a three-day treatment course of iv ibuprofen of 10 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg given iv over 10 minutes (67 infants) or placebo (0.9% NaCl given iv) (67 infants).
  • Outcomes: failure to close a PDA, need for surgical ligation of the PDA, oliguria, NEC, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) before and after treatment, mortality at 28 days of life.
Oral ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 2)

The study by Lin and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Xiamen City, Xiamen, Fujian, China (Lin 2012). The study was published in Chinese and only the information in the abstract published in English was understood by the review authors. We have written to the authors to obtain further details, but we have not received a response as of 4 June 2014.

  • Objective: to study the therapeutic effect and safety of early administration of oral ibuprofen in VLBW infants with a PDA.
  • Population: 64 symptomatic VLBW infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA were enrolled within 24 hours after birth.
  • Intervention: in the ibuprofen group, 32 infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as an initial dose within 24 hours after birth, followed by a second and a third dose of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours after the initial dose. In the placebo group, 32 infants received normal saline 1 mL/kg followed by saline 0.5 mL 24 and 48 hours later.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure rate following the initial course of treatment (three doses).
Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 3)

The study by Adamska and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Poland (Adamska 2005).

  • Objective: to assess the efficacy and safety of early treatment with iv ibuprofen or iv indomethacin in preterm infants.
  • Population: 35 preterm (less than 33 weeks' PMA and BW less than 1500 g) infants with a PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: infants were randomised to receive three doses of indomethacin (0.2 mg/kg iv given at 24-hour intervals, 19 infants) or three doses of ibuprofen (10, 5 and 5 mg/kg iv given at 24-hour intervals, 16 infants).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included; need for surgical ligation, IVH, PVL, NEC, intestinal perforation, oliguria, time to full oral feeds, CLD (at 28 days of age), pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, duration of mechanical ventilation and days on supplemental oxygen.

The study by Akisu and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Turkey (Akisu 2001).

  • Objective: to investigate the efficacy and safety of enteral ibuprofen for the treatment of PDA and to compare it with enteral indomethacin.
  • Population: 23 preterm infants (less than 35 weeks' PMA) with a PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: infants were randomised to receive either enteral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later (12 infants) or three doses of enteral indomethacin (0.2 mg/kg) every 12 hours (11 infants).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included need to retreat a PDA with indomethacin or ibuprofen, urine output, serum creatinine after treatment, thrombocyte counts, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, IVH, sepsis and mortality.

The study by Aly and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Egypt (Aly 2007).

  • Objective: to evaluate the feasibility of the use of oral ibuprofen suspension versus iv indomethacin in the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 21 preterm infants (less than 35 weeks' gestation) aged two to seven days with respiratory distress and PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: infants were randomised to receive three doses of iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals (nine infants) or an initial oral dose of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 hours (12 infants).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included pulmonary haemorrhage, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, NEC, gastrointestinal perforation and change in serum creatinine following treatment.

The study by Chotigeat and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Thailand (Chotigeat 2003).

  • Objective: to compare efficacy and adverse effects of oral ibuprofen versus iv indomethacin treatment for symptomatic PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: preterm infants with a symptomatic PDA confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 30 infants were randomised to receive either three oral doses of ibuprofen (dose not stated) given at 24-hourly intervals (15 infants) or three doses of iv indomethacin (dose not stated) given at 12-hourly intervals (15 infants) starting within 10 days of life.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome measure was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included the need for surgical closure of a PDA, the need for re-treatment with ibuprofen or indomethacin, mortality by 28 days, CLD (at 28 days), sepsis, ROP and serum creatinine levels after treatment.

The study by Fakhraee and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Iran (Fakhraee 2007).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy and safety of oral ibuprofen and oral indomethacin for the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 36 preterm infants (less than 34 weeks' PMA).
  • Intervention: 18 infants were randomised to receive three oral doses of indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals and 18 infants to three doses of oral ibuprofen (first dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg/dose at 24-hour intervals).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included maximum serum BUN and creatinine levels after treatment, NEC, mortality at one month of age and IVH (grades III and IV).

The study by Gimeno Navarro and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Spain (Gimeno Navarro 2005).

  • Objective: to compare the safety and efficacy of iv ibuprofen and iv indomethacin in the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: preterm infants (less than 34 weeks' PMA) with a haemodynamically significant PDA, confirmed by ECHO in the first week of life and who required respiratory support.
  • Intervention: during the first week of life (mean two days of life) 47 ventilated infants were randomised to receive either indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg/dose iv every 12 hours for three doses (24 infants) or an initial dose of iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, followed by two doses of ibuprofen iv every 24 hours (23 infants).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included mortality, ductal re-opening, need for surgical ligation, NEC, isolated bowel perforation, intestinal haemorrhage, pulmonary haemorrhage, CLD (need for supplemental oxygen at 28 days of age), IVH (grades III and IV), days on assisted ventilation, days on supplemental oxygen and days in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The study by Hammerman was conducted in a single centre in Israel (Hammerman 2008).

  • Objective: to show that treating a PDA with continuous iv indomethacin was similar to iv ibuprofen in its effect on urine output, renal function and blood flow velocities.
  • Population: 64 preterm infants (PMA 33 weeks or less, BW 1750 g or less) with PDA.
  • Intervention: 31 infants received continuous iv infusion of indomethacin for 36 hours at a rate of 17 μg/kg/hour and 32 infants received ibuprofen 10 mg/kg iv followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals. One boy assigned to the ibuprofen group was withdrawn by his parents before he started therapy and he was not included in the analysis.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included need for surgical ligation, need for re-treatment with either indomethacin or ibuprofen, need for surgical treatment, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), IVH (grades III and IV), ROP, NEC.

The study by Lago and co-workers was conducted in two centres in Italy (Lago 2002).

  • Objective: to compare iv indomethacin and iv ibuprofen with regard to efficacy and safety for the early treatment of PDA.
  • Population: preterm infants (PMA 34 weeks or less, postnatal age 48 to 72 hours) with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) treated with mechanical ventilation and ECHO-confirmed PDA.
  • Intervention: 175 infants were randomised to either iv ibuprofen (94 infants) at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg each after 24 and 48 hours or three doses of iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals (81 infants). When the ductus arteriosus was still patent after the randomly assigned treatment in infants in either group receiving mechanical ventilation, another three doses of the same medication were given as a non-randomised rescue treatment. If this therapy did not induce ductal closure, the infant continued to receive mechanical ventilation and, if the ductus was judged to be haemodynamically significant or if further pharmacological treatment was contraindicated, surgical ligation of the ductus was performed.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included mortality, oliguria, IVH, PVL, surgical ligation of PDA, serum creatinine, CLD at 36 weeks, NEC, sepsis, mortality, duration of ventilator support, days on supplemental oxygen, duration of hospital stay and time to full feeds.

The study by Mosca and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Italy (Mosca 1997).

  • Objective: to compare the effects of iv indomethacin and iv ibuprofen on cerebral perfusion and oxygenation in preterm infants with PDA.
  • Population: preterm infants (less than 31 weeks' PMA) with PDA and receiving mechanical ventilation.
  • Intervention: 16 infants received either iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg dissolved in saline 1 mL and infused over one minute or iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg (eight infants). A second and third dose of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals or indomethacin 0.1 mg/kg (eight infants) was administered, provided no significant adverse effect was observed.
  • Outcomes: near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure changes in cerebral blood volume and in oxidised cytochrome oxidase concentration. Cerebral blood flow velocity in the pericallosal artery was measured using Doppler ultrasonography. Ductal closure, re-opening of a PDA and the need for re-treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen were reported.

The study by Patel and co-workers was a single-centre pilot study conducted in England (Patel 1995).

  • Objective: to compare the cerebral effects of iv ibuprofen with iv indomethacin in preterm infants.
  • Population: 33 infants with a median PMA of 26 weeks (range 23 to 28) and an ECHO-confirmed PDA.
  • Intervention: infants were randomised to receive either ibuprofen 5 mg/kg (12 infants), ibuprofen 10 mg/kg (six infants) or indomethacin 0.1 mg/kg (15 infants). The drugs were infused iv over 15 minutes.
  • Outcomes: near infrared spectroscopy was used to observe the effect of treatment on cerebral perfusion, indicated by changes in cerebral blood volume and cerebral mitochondrial oxygenation, determined by the change in concentration of oxidised cytochrome aa3. Ductal closure was reported.

The second study by Patel and co-workers was conducted in four centres in England (Patel 2000).

  • Objective: to compare the effects of iv ibuprofen to iv indomethacin on cerebral haemodynamics measured using near infrared spectroscopy in preterm infants during treatment for PDA.
  • Population: 33 preterm infants (less than 35 weeks' PMA).
  • Intervention: infants were randomly assigned to three iv doses of either ibuprofen 5 to 10 mg/kg every 24 hours (18 infants) or indomethacin 0.20 to 0.25 mg/kg every 12 hours (15 infants) and also received a dose of saline.
  • Outcomes: primary outcomes were the effects of the first dose on cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood volume. The PDA closure rates, need for surgical ligation of PDA and need for re-treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen were reported.

The study by Pezzati and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Italy (Pezzati 1999).

  • Objective: to evaluate the effect of iv ibuprofen and iv indomethacin for treatment of PDA on mesenteric and renal blood flow velocity in preterm infants.
  • Population: preterm mechanically ventilated infants (less than 33 weeks' PMA) with a PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: 17 infants were randomised to receive either iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg (eight infants) or iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg (nine infants) as a continuous infusion over 15 minutes. Regardless of ductal closure after the first dose, all infants received a second and third dose of indomethacin 0.1 mg/kg or ibuprofen 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals.
  • Outcomes: primary outcomes were mesenteric and renal blood flow velocity. Secondary outcomes included ductal closure, ductal re-opening and NEC.

The study by Plavka and co-workers was conducted in three centres in the Czech Republic (Plavka 2001).

  • Objective: to compare adverse effects and efficacy of iv ibuprofen with iv indomethacin for treatment of PDA in very preterm infants.
  • Population: 41 preterm infants with clinical and ECHO signs of PDA.
  • Intervention: infants received either iv ibuprofen 8 mg/kg every 24 hours for three doses (21 infants) or iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg every 24 hours for three doses (20 infants). If PDA persisted, treatment was repeated at half dose every 24 hours for six doses. Resistant PDA was ligated.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included re-opening of the duct, need for surgical ligation rates and cerebral blood flow velocities.

The study by Pourarian and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Iran (Pourarian 2008).

  • Objective: to evaluate the therapeutic effects of oral administration of indomethacin or ibuprofen suspension on closure of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 20 preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA
  • Intervention: for the indomethacin group, the powder content of a 25-mg indomethacin capsule was freshly prepared by dissolving in 25-mL distilled water. This was given orally as 0.2 mg/kg for three doses at 24-hour intervals (10 infants). For the ibuprofen group, an ibuprofen oral suspension containing 100 mg/5 mL was given as an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by two further doses of 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals (10 infants). Administration of the second or third doses of each drug was dependent on achievement of ductal closure after the initial doses.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical closure, NEC, change in mean serum creatinine levels before and after treatment, increase in BUN level greater than 14 µmol/L and thrombocytopenia less than 50,000/mm3.

The study by Salama and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Qatar (Salama 2008).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy of oral ibuprofen with iv indomethacin for closure of a significant PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 41 preterm infants (PMA less than 34 weeks, BW less than 2500 g) diagnosed with haemodynamically significant PDA.
  • Intervention: 20 infants received iv indomethacin (three doses of 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours) and 21 received oral ibuprofen (10 mg/kg on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg for two more days). Ibuprofen was mixed with 0.5 mL of milk before its administration via an oro-gastric tube.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was complete closure of the PDA. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical ligation, bowel perforation and mortality.

The study by Su and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Taiwan (Su 2003).

  • Objective: to compare iv ibuprofen and iv indomethacin with regard to efficacy and safety for the early treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 63 preterm infants (PMA 32 weeks or less, BW 1500 g or less) with ECHO evidence of a significant PDA.
  • Intervention: 32 infants received iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg initially followed by 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 hours and 31 received iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for three doses.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical ligation, mortality, NEC, CLD at 36 weeks' PMA, IVH, PVL, ROP, hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, days to full enteral feeds and gastric haemorrhage.

The study by Su and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Taiwan (Su 2008).

  • Objective: to ascertain whether ibuprofen was effective and safe in inducing PDA closure in extremely preterm infants.
  • Population: 119 infants (PMA 28 weeks or less) with RDS and PDA confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 59 infants received iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg (1 mL) as the initial dose and then 0.1 mg/kg in infants less than 48 hours old, 0.2 mg/kg in infants over 48 hours old at 24-hour intervals as indicated by PDA flow patterns. 60 infants received iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg (1 mL) and then 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals as indicated by PDA flow patterns.
  • Outcomes: PDA closure rate, need for ductal ligation, mortality, NEC, bowel perforation, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, BPD, sepsis, IVH, PVL, days to full enteral feeds, days to regain BW, days on ventilation, days of supplemental oxygen, post-treatment serum creatinine levels and oliguria (less than 1 mL/kg/hour).

The study by Supapannachart and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Thailand (Supapannachart 2002).

  • Objective: to assess whether oral ibuprofen daily for three days was as effective as indomethacin to treat symptomatic PDA in preterm infants and to compare the adverse effects of oral ibuprofen to oral or iv indomethacin.
  • Population: 18 preterm (less than 34 weeks' PMA) infants with a symptomatic PDA.
  • Intervention: nine infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg/dose for three doses given at 24-hourly intervals and nine infants received three doses of oral or iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg/dose given at 12-hourly intervals.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included mortality, CLD (age not stated), IVH (grade not stated) and NEC.

The study by Van Overmeire and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Belgium (Van Overmeire 1997).

  • Objective: to evaluate the efficacy and adverse effects of iv ibuprofen for the early treatment of PDA and compare it with iv indomethacin.
  • Population: preterm infants (PMA less than 33 weeks) with PDA diagnosed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 40 infants were randomly assigned at two to three days of life to receive either iv ibuprofen (20 infants) with an initial dose of 10 mg/kg followed by 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later or iv indomethacin (20 infants) 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for three doses. Presence of a PDA was verified by Doppler ECHO prior to enrolment, after the last dose of the randomised treatment and at the age of seven days. When a PDA was present after the randomised treatment and the infant required mechanical ventilation, the infant was treated with indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for three doses.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical ligation of a PDA, need for re-treatment with indomethacin, mortality, CLD (at 28 days of age), duration of assisted ventilation, duration of supplemental oxygen, sepsis, NEC, age to regain BW and ROP.

The second study by Van Overmeire and co-workers was conducted in five centres in Belgium (Van Overmeire 2000).

  • Objective: to compare iv ibuprofen and iv indomethacin with regard to efficacy and safety for the early treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 148 infants (PMA 24 to 32 weeks) with RDS and a PDA confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 74 infants received iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as an initial dose followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours and 74 infants received iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for three doses. When the ductus arteriosus was still patent after the randomly assigned treatment in an infant in either group who was still receiving mechanical ventilation, indomethacin (three doses of 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals) was given as non-randomised rescue treatment. If this therapy did not promote ductal closure and the infant continued to receive mechanical ventilation, or if there was a contraindication to the second pharmacological treatment, surgical ligation of the ductus was performed.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included mortality by one month, NEC, localised bowel perforation, extension of IVH during treatment, PVL, CLD (need for supplemental oxygen for more than 28 days), duration of supplemental oxygen, duration of mechanical ventilation, time to regain BW, time to full enteral feeding, urine output and serum creatinine.

The study by Yadav and co-workers was conducted in two tertiary care institutes in New Delhi, India (Yadav 2014).

  • Objective: to assess the efficacy and safety of oral ibuprofen for PDA closure in preterm neonates and compare it with oral indomethacin.
  • Population: 83 preterm infants with a haemodynamically significant PDA (PMA less than 37 weeks, BW less than 2500 g) confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 48 infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg every 24 hours for two doses and 35 infants received indomethacin as three doses of 0.20 to 0.25 mg/kg every 24 hours depending on the gestational age (initial dose was 0.2 mg/kg, subsequent doses two to seven days of age were 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for two doses, seven days of age were 0.25 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for two doses).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included need for a repeat course of medications (after 48 hours of the third dose of treatment), re-opening of the duct, need for surgical ligation (after two courses of treatment), oliguria, gastrointestinal bleed, NEC, IVH, derangement of renal functions and pulmonary hypertension.
Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 4)

The study by Akisu and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Turkey (Akisu 2001).

  • Objective: to investigate the efficacy and safety of enteral ibuprofen for the treatment of PDA and to compare it with enteral indomethacin.
  • Population: 23 preterm infants (less than 35 weeks' PMA) with a PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: 12 infants received enteral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later and 11 infants received three doses of enteral indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Other outcomes included need to retreat a PDA with indomethacin or ibuprofen, urine output, serum creatinine after treatment, thrombocyte counts, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, IVH, sepsis and mortality.

The study by Aly and co-workers was a single-centre study conducted in Egypt (Aly 2007).

  • Objective: to evaluate the feasibility of the use of oral ibuprofen suspension versus iv indomethacin in the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 21 preterm infants (less than 35 weeks' PMA) aged two to seven days with respiratory distress and PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO.
  • Intervention: nine infants received three doses of iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals and 12 infants received an initial oral dose of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 hours.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included biochemical tests (serum creatinine), pulmonary haemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleed, NEC, gastrointestinal perforation and increase in serum creatinine following treatment.

The study by Chotigeat and co-workers was a single centre study in Thailand (Chotigeat 2003).

  • Objective: to compare efficacy and adverse effects of ibuprofen versus indomethacin treatment for symptomatic PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: preterm infants with a symptomatic PDA confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 30 infants were randomised to receive either three oral doses of ibuprofen (dose not stated) given at 24-hourly intervals or three doses of iv indomethacin (dose not stated) given at 12-hourly intervals starting within 10 days of life.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome measure was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included the need for surgical closure of a PDA, the need for re-treatment with ibuprofen or indomethacin, mortality by 28 days, CLD (at 28 days), sepsis, ROP and serum creatinine levels after treatment.

The study by Fakhraee and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Iran (Fakhraee 2007).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy and safety of oral ibuprofen and oral indomethacin for the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 36 preterm infants (less than 34 weeks' PMA).
  • Intervention: 18 infants were randomised to receive three oral doses of indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals and 18 infants received three doses of oral ibuprofen (first dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg/dose at 24-hour intervals).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included maximum serum BUN and creatinine levels after treatment, NEC, mortality at 1 month of age and IVH (grades III and IV).

The study by Pourarian and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Iran (Pourarian 2008).

  • Objective: to evaluate the therapeutic effects of oral administration of indomethacin or ibuprofen suspension on closure of PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 20 preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA.
  • Intervention: for the indomethacin group, the powder content of a 25 mg indomethacin capsule was freshly prepared by dissolving in 25 mL distilled water. This was given orally as 0.2 mg/kg for three doses at 24-hour intervals. For the ibuprofen group, an ibuprofen oral suspension containing 100 mg/5 mL was given as an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by two further doses of 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals. Administration of the second or third doses of each drug was dependent on achievement of ductal closure after the initial doses.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was ductal closure. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical closure, NEC, change in mean serum creatinine levels before and after treatment, increase in BUN level more than 14 µmol/L and thrombocytopenia less than 50,000 mm3.

The study by Salama and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Qatar (Salama 2008).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy of oral ibuprofen with iv indomethacin for closure of a significant PDA in preterm infants.
  • Population: 41 preterm infants (PMA less than 34 weeks, BW less than 2500 g) diagnosed with haemodynamically significant PDA.
  • Intervention: 20 infants received iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for three doses and 21 infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg for two more days. Ibuprofen was mixed with 0.5 mL of milk before its administration via an oro-gastric tube.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was complete closure of the PDA. Secondary outcomes included need for surgical ligation, bowel perforation and mortality.

The study by Supapannachart and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Thailand (Supapannachart 2002).

  • Objective: to assess whether oral ibuprofen was as effective as indomethacin to treat symptomatic PDA in preterm infants and to compare the adverse effects of oral ibuprofen to indomethacin.
  • Population: 18 preterm (less than 34 weeks' PMA) infants with a symptomatic PDA.
  • Intervention: infants were randomly assigned to receive either oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg/dose for three doses given at 24-hourly intervals or three doses of oral or iv indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg/dose given at 12-hourly intervals.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included mortality, CLD (age not stated), IVH (grades not stated) and NEC.

The study by Yadav and co-workers was conducted in two tertiary-care institutes in New Delhi, India (Yadav 2014).

  • Objective: to assess the efficacy and safety of oral ibuprofen therapy for PDA closure in preterm neonates and compare it with oral indomethacin.
  • Population: 83 preterm infants with a haemodynamically significant PDA (PMA less than 37 weeks, BW less than 2500 g) confirmed by ECHO.
  • Intervention: 48 infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg every 24 hours for two doses and 35 infants received indomethacin as three doses of 0.20 to 0.25 mg/kg every 24 hours depending on the gestational age (initial dose was 0.2 mg/kg, subsequent doses two to seven days of age were 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for two doses, seven days of age 0.25 mg/kg/dose every 24 hour for two doses).
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure. Secondary outcomes included need for a repeat course of medications (after 48 hours of the third dose of treatment), re-opening of the duct, need for surgical ligation (after two courses of treatment), oliguria, gastrointestinal bleed, NEC, IVH, derangement of renal functions and pulmonary hypertension.
Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 5)

The study by Cherif and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Tunis, Tunisia (Cherif 2008).

  • Objective: to compare efficacy and tolerance between oral and iv ibuprofen in early closure of PDA in VLBW infants.
  • Population: 64 VLBW infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA, PMA less than 32 weeks, BW less than 1500 g, postnatal age 48 to 96 hours, respiratory distress requiring more than 25% oxygen supplementation.
  • Intervention: 32 infants received oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose and 32 infants received iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose. After the first dose of treatment in both groups, ECHO evaluation was performed to determine the need for a second or a third dose. In each group, in case the ductus was still open after the third dose, iv ibuprofen (an initial dose of 10 mg/kg followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg each, after 24 and 48 hours) as a non-randomised rescue treatment was given. If this therapy did not promote ductal closure and the infant continued to receive mechanical ventilation, surgical ligation of the ductus was performed.
  • Outcomes: PDA closure rate, need for surgical ligation, rate of re-opening of the ductus, oliguria, increase in serum creatinine level greater than 16 mg/dL, change in creatinine concentrations, IVH grades I or II and grades III or IV, PVL, NEC, bowel perforation, sepsis, duration of intubation, survival at one month and duration of hospital stay.

The study by Erdeve and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Ankara, Turkey (Erdeve 2012).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy and safety of oral versus iv ibuprofen for the pharmacological closure of PDA in less mature preterm infants.
  • Population: 80 infants with PMA 28 weeks or less, BW less than 1000 g, postnatal age 48 to 96 hours and with ECHO-confirmed significant PDA.
  • Intervention: 36 infants received oral ibuprofen and 34 infants received iv ibuprofen at a dose of 10 mg/kg followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was PDA closure rate. Secondary outcomes included mortality, need for re-treatment or surgical treatment of the PDA, duration of ventilation, duration of hospital stay, increase in serum bilirubin level after treatment, plasma creatinine after the first course of treatment, rate of ductal re-opening, pneumothorax, pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), IVH (grades I to IV), NEC, ROP and ROP requiring laser treatment.

The study by Gokmen and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Ankara, Turkey (Gokmen 2011).

  • Objective: to compare oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen for closure of PDA in VLBW infants.
  • Population: 108 VLBW infants with PDA, verified by ECHO (PMA 32 weeks or less, BW 1500 g or less, postnatal age 48 to 96 hours).
  • Intervention: 54 infants received either iv ibuprofen and 54 infants received oral ibuprofen at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours. Six infants (four in the iv group and two in the oral group) died before they completed the treatment and were excluded from the analyses except for the outcome of mortality during hospital stay.
  • Outcomes: renal tolerance, mean plasma creatinine after treatment, urine output after treatment, cystatin-C levels, failure to close a PDA, need for second course of ibuprofen, need for surgical ligation, oliguria, hospital stay, NEC, gastrointestinal bleed, sepsis, pneumothorax, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA or at discharge, which ever came first), ROP requiring laser treatment and mortality during hospital stay.
  • Notes: in 2013, 57 children (56%) of the original 102 infants enrolled in this study were followed to an age of 18 to 24 months' corrected age; 30 infants in the oral ibuprofen group and 27 infants in the iv ibuprofen group were assessed for long-term outcomes. The following outcomes were reported; Mental (MDI) and Psychomotor (PDI) Developmental Index on Bayley Scales of Infant Development II, moderate/severe cerebral palsy with functional deficits that required rehabilitation services, bilateral hearing loss (requiring amplification), blindness in either eye, MDI less than 70 and PDI less than 70.

The study by Pistulli and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Tirana, Albania (Pistulli 2014).

  • Objective: to compare the efficacy and safety of oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen in LBW preterm infants.
  • Population: 80 preterm LBW infants with PMA 28 to 32 weeks, BW 2000 g or less, postnatal age 48 to 96 hours, RDS treated with mechanical ventilation with oxygen requirement greater than 30%, and PDA verified by ECHO. Twelve infants were excluded from the analysis.
  • Intervention: 44 infants received ibuprofen at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg via an oro-gastric tube and 36 infants received 10 mg/kg of ibuprofen infused iv over a 15-minute period with a syringe pump followed by 5 mg/kg for two consecutive days. When the PDA was still haemodynamically significant 24 hours after the third dose, as demonstrated by ECHO, and there was no evidence of deterioration in brain ultrasonography, a second course of ibuprofen with three other doses was administered. Infants with persistent PDA even after the second course were treated surgically. In the oral ibuprofen group, seven infants were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course and one infant was excluded because of pulmonary haemorrhage (total eight infants). Outcomes reported for 36 infants in the oral ibuprofen group. In the iv ibuprofen group, three infants were excluded because of gastrointestinal bleed and one infant was excluded because only two doses of ibuprofen were administered (total four infants). Outcomes reported for 32 infants.
  • Outcomes: failure to close a PDA, need for a second course of ibuprofen, need for surgical ligation, plasma creatinine following treatment and oliguria.
Intravenous high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose regimen of ibuprofen (Comparison 6)

The study by Dani and co-workers was conducted as a multicentre study in four NICUs in Italy (Dani 2012).

  • Objective: to assess whether a high-dose of iv ibuprofen versus a standard dose iv ibuprofen was more effective in closing a PDA without increasing adverse effects.
  • Population: 95 infants underwent randomisation; 48 were allocated to standard ibuprofen and 47 to high-dose ibuprofen and 70 infants with PMA less than 29 weeks, ECHO evidence of significant PDA, age 12 to 24 hours and RDS necessitating respiratory support.
  • Intervention: 35 infants received a high-dose of iv ibuprofen (20-10-10 mg/kg/day) and 35 infants received a standard-dose of iv ibuprofen (10-5-5 mg/kg/day). Thirty-five infants (mean (SD) PMA 25.6 (1.8) weeks; BW 781 (225) g) were randomised to a high-dose ibuprofen and 35 infants (mean (SD) PMA 26.0 (1.7) weeks; BW 835 (215) g) were randomised to standard-dose ibuprofen.
  • Outcomes: ductal closure, serum creatinine on day three of treatment, oliguria (1 mL/kg/hour or less during a 24-hour collection period), peak total serum bilirubin during the first week of life, IVH (all grades and grades III and IV), PVL, ROP (all stages, stage greater than 2), NEC, BPD (oxygen requirement at 36 weeks' PMA), sepsis, mortality and hospital stay (days).

The study by Fesharaki and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Tehran, Iran (Fesharaki 2012).

  • Objective: to compare the effects of high-dose ibuprofen versus standard ibuprofen.
  • Population: 60 preterm infants with a haemodynamically significant PDA confirmed by ECHO (PMA 29 weeks 6/7 to 35 weeks 6/7; BW 1000 to 2500 g; postnatal age 72 to 120 hours).
  • Intervention: 30 infants received ibuprofen 15 mg/kg on the first day followed by two doses of 7.5 mg/kg on next two days and 30 infants received 10 mg/kg ibuprofen on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg on next two days.
  • Outcomes: failure to close a PDA, urine output less than 0.5 mL/kg after the onset of treatment and gastrointestinal bleed.
Early versus expectant administration of intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 7)

The study by Sosenko and co-workers was conducted in a single NICU in Miami, Florida, USA (Sosenko 2012).

  • Objective: to determine whether early ibuprofen treatment at the onset of subtle PDA symptoms would improve respiratory outcome in preterm infants compared with expectant management, with ibuprofen treatment only when the PDA became haemodynamically significant.
  • Population: infants born with BW 500 to 1250 g and PMA 23 to 32 weeks, who were more than 24 hours but 14 days or less old and who had ECHO for subtle PDA symptoms (metabolic acidosis, murmur, bounding pulses).
  • Intervention: infants were randomised to 'early' treatment (54 infants received blinded ibuprofen) or 'expectant' management (51 infants received blinded placebo). If the PDA became haemodynamically significant (pulmonary haemorrhage, hypotension, respiratory deterioration), infants received open-label ibuprofen. Infants with haemodynamically significant PDA at enrolment were excluded from the study.
  • The dosing schedule for ibuprofen was an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by two doses of 5 mg/kg each, every 24 hours, by slow iv infusion; dosing of placebo involved equivalent volumes of dextrose by slow iv infusion on the same schedule.
  • Outcomes: days on supplemental oxygen during the first 28 days of life, mortality during hospital stay, supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA, intestinal perforation, NEC requiring surgery, IVH (grades III and IV), PVL, sepsis and ROP (stage 3 or greater).
Echocardiographically guided intravenous ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 8)

The study by Bravo and co-workers was conducted in a single NICU in Madrid, Spain (Bravo 2014).

  • Objective: to explore the efficacy of ECHO-guided pharmacological closure of the ductus arteriosus in reducing the number of required ibuprofen doses without increasing the re-opening rate.
  • Population: 49 preterm infants with an ECHO-confirmed PDA measuring 1.5 mm or greater (PMA 24 to 34 weeks).
  • Intervention: infants received the first dose of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg and were then randomised to receive either standard treatment (21 infants) or ECHO-guided treatment (28 infants). Infants in the standard group received two additional doses of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals after the initial dose of 10 mg/kg, independently of ductal size, as long as additional doses were not contraindicated. Infants in the ECHO-guided group received additional doses of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals only if the PDA was still 1.5 mm or greater at the time of the corresponding ibuprofen dose. Decision on whether to treat the PDA when the diameter was less than 1.5 mm in the ECHO-guided group was at the discretion of the treating consultant. Additional ibuprofen doses were administered only when the PDA was greater than 1.5 mm 24 hours after a complete ibuprofen course (therapeutic failure) or when a re-opening was documented.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome was re-opening of PDA; secondary outcomes included failure to close a PDA, number of ibuprofen doses used, need for surgical ligation, mortality, BPD (need for supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), IVH (grade II or III), PVL, oliguria, creatinine after treatment and laser therapy for ROP.
  • Notes: Dr. Bravo clarified that ibuprofen was given iv. She communicated that the random sequence was computer generated and that the allocation to one of the two groups was by sequential numbered, opaque and sealed envelopes.
Continuous intravenous infusion of ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (boluses) (Comparison 9)

The study by Lago and co-workers was conducted in a single centre in Padua, Italy (Lago 2014).

  • Objective: to establish whether continuous infusion of ibuprofen was more effective in VLBW infants with no additional adverse effects and reduce the need for surgical ligation compared with infants treated with conventional 15-minute intermittent boluses.
  • Population: 112 VLBW infants (mean (SD) PMA 27.2 (2) weeks; weight 1019 (330) g).
  • Intervention: 56 infants were given iv ibuprofen in conventional 15-minute intermittent boluses, while the other 56 were administered iv ibuprofen as a 24-hour continuous infusion, both at standard doses (10/5/5 mg/kg). One infant in the continuous infusion group was excluded because informed consent was withdrawn, leaving 55 infants in that group.
  • Outcomes: primary outcome: PDA closure rate after two standard-dose ibuprofen courses. Secondary outcomes included mortality, PDA closure after one ibuprofen course, rate of PDA re-opening, need for surgical ligation, oliguria (urine output 1 mL/kg/hour or less), creatinine after treatment, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, isolated intestinal perforation, NEC (according to modified Bell's criteria (all stages), BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), IVH (any grade and grade III or IV), cystic PVL, duration of hospital stay and survival without morbidity. Brain ultrasound was performed on admission and before starting each ibuprofen course, then twice a month or when clinically indicated. Any IVH was graded according to Papille's classification, and PVL was defined as periventricular white matter cysts. Any other gastrointestinal and pulmonary bleeding disorders due to interference with local prostaglandin metabolism were also recorded. BPD was defined as the need for oxygen supplementation and typical chest X-ray features at a postconceptional age of 36 weeks. ROP was diagnosed according to international criteria.
  • Notes: Dr Lago clarified that ibuprofen in the continuous infusion group was given continuously iv over 24 hours.

Risk of bias in included studies

For details, see the Characteristics of included studies table. These were all randomised controlled trials, but whether the randomisation was concealed or not was not always clear. In several studies, the timing of the doses of ibuprofen and indomethacin did not coincide, and therefore, the carers would be aware of group assignment (for details see 'Risk of bias' tables).

Adamska 2005: sealed envelopes were used for random concealed allocation. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at the same times, it is assumed that the carers were unaware of group assignment.

Akisu 2001: the authors did not provide detailed information concerning how the randomisation sequence was established. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Aly 2007: sealed opaque envelopes were used for random assignment. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Aranda 2005: this was a double-blind placebo-controlled study that used central randomisation to allocate infants to ibuprofen or placebo. The coded vials of study drug or placebo contained indistinguishable colourless solutions dispensed by the blinded research pharmacist of the participating sites.

Bagnoli 2013: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, but no information provided on how this was achieved. The randomisation sequence was manually generated (according to an internal protocol). No information provided for allocation concealment.

Bravo 2014: the random sequence was computer generated and sequentially numbered opaque envelopes that contained the allocation written on a card inside were used to allocate the infants to one of the two groups. Healthcare providers were not blinded to the intervention.

Cherif 2008: no information provided for sequence generation. Infants were randomly assigned to a treatment group by means of cards in sealed, opaque envelopes.

Chotigeat 2003: infants were assigned to the treatment group by random number. Clinical care was performed by physicians, who did not take part in the study. However, as ibuprofen was provided orally and indomethacin was given iv it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment. The doses of ibuprofen and indomethacin given were not provided.

Dani 2012: no information provided for sequence generation. Sealed opaque envelopes were used for group assignment.

Erdeve 2012: no information provided for sequence generation. Sequentially numbered, sealed, opaque envelopes were used to conceal allocation to groups.

Fakhraee 2007: enrolled infants randomly received either oral ibuprofen or oral indomethacin.

Fesharaki 2012: no information was provided for how the random sequence was generated, if allocation was concealed or if the care providers were blinded to the groups.

Gimeno Navarro 2005: infants were randomly assigned to receive either iv indomethacin or iv ibuprofen. The randomisation sequence was computer generated. Allocation was by sealed opaque envelopes. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Gokmen 2011: no information provided for sequence generation. Infants were assigned randomly using cards in opaque envelopes. In the follow-up study at 18 to 24 months' corrected age, 56% of the originally enrolled infants were reported on; a very low follow-up rate.

Hammerman 2008: randomisation was based on computer-generated random numbers without sub-stratification. Because the methods of the drug administration were clearly different, the study could not be double blinded. The cardiologist performing the ECHO was blinded to study group.

Lago 2002: the infants enrolled at each unit were randomly assigned to either treatment group by means of cards in sealed envelopes. As indomethacin and ibuprofen were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment. The authors did not comment on the imbalance in the numbers enrolled in the ibuprofen group (94 infants) versus the indomethacin group (81 infants).

Lago 2014: the randomisation sequence was computer generated. Eligible infants were randomised by the hospital pharmacist to receive in a 1 : 1 ratio, either standard treatment (bolus) of iv ibuprofen of 10, 5 and 5 mg administered over 15 minutes, 24 hours apart or continuous infusion of ibuprofen of 10, 5 and 5 mg given over 24 hours, and boluses of equal volumes of 5% dextrose administered over 15 minutes, 24 hours apart. Throughout the study, the hospital pharmacist kept the randomisation list inaccessible to the clinical investigators and NICU personnel. Clinical investigators and NICU personnel were blinded to the two treatments.

Lin 2012: infants were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups (32 infants in each). No other information provided.

Mosca 1997: the authors did not provide details regarding randomisation. Outcomes for all enrolled infants were provided. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at the same time points for each of the three doses and as the injected volume was the same, it is possible that the healthcare providers and the investigators were blinded to the two groups, although this is never stated by the authors.

Patel 1995: the results of this study were reported in a letter to the editor and therefore a full quality assessment was not possible. The authors confirmed that this was a randomised controlled trial.

Patel 2000: the Pharmacy Department at Queen Charlotte's Hospital (London, UK) performed randomisation in blocks of 12 (six, ibuprofen; six, indomethacin) for each hospital and provided all trial medication. All other personnel were blinded to the identity of the drug administered. To prevent identification of the drug administered from the timing schedule, all infants received a fourth dose containing 0.9% saline; in the indomethacin group, 48 hours after the first dose and, in the ibuprofen group, 12 hours after the first dose.

Pezzati 1999: infants were randomly assigned to receive either iv ibuprofen or iv indomethacin. Both drugs were continuously infused over 15 minutes. Regardless of ductal closure, the infants received a second and third dose of indomethacin or ibuprofen at 24-hour intervals. Therefore, it is possible that the researchers were blinded to the intervention.

Pistulli 2014: no information provided for how the random sequence was created or how the allocation to the two study groups was performed. Physicians and nurses were aware of the nature of the study, although the cardiologist who supervised the ECHO studies was blinded to the status of the infants and whether they were treated with oral or iv ibuprofen.

Plavka 2001: to 2014, this study was published in abstract form only and therefore a full quality assessment was not possible. The healthcare providers may have been blinded to group assignment as ibuprofen or indomethacin were given at the same time points.

Pourarian 2008: "As soon as the diagnosis (of PDA) was made for the first eligible baby, he/she was enrolled to the ibuprofen group and then the next eligible baby was assigned to the indomethacin group, and so on". This statement clearly indicated that the infants were not allocated to the two groups in a concealed manner.

Salama 2008: randomisation was conducted according to a pre-designed simple block randomisation. No description of possible concealment of allocation.

Sosenko 2012: a random number table was used for sequence generation. Sealed envelopes were used for allocation concealment.

Su 2003: concealed allocation could not be ascertained from the information provided by the authors. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Su 2008: randomisation was according to a random number table sequence that had been prepared by a study assistant who was not involved in the care of the infants. The drugs were prepared and dispensed through the hospital pharmacy department and the attending doctors were unaware of the drugs used.

Supapannachart 2002: the infants were randomly assigned to either the ibuprofen or the indomethacin group by choosing a sealed envelope. As ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Van Overmeire 1997: enrolled infants were randomised using a sealed envelope technique. As indomethacin and ibuprofen were given at different times after the initial doses, it is assumed that the carers were aware of group assignment.

Van Overmeire 2000: the infants were randomly assigned to a treatment group by means of cards in sealed envelopes. As indomethacin was given every 12 hours and ibuprofen at 24 and 48 hours after the initial dose, it is likely that the healthcare providers were aware of group assignment.

Yadav 2014: random numbers were computer generated. Randomisation was carried out by investigators not involved in the study. Sequentially numbered opaque sealed envelopes containing the code for intervention were used for allocation to one of the two groups. "The major limitation of our study was that the clinician was not blinded to the drug administered".

Effects of interventions

Intravenous ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 1)

One study was published as a full article in 2009 (Aranda 2005). The primary outcome in that study was 'Infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment' and as there was only one study available in 2009 for the comparison of iv ibuprofen versus placebo we included that outcome. For this update, we identified one additional study comparing iv ibuprofen versus placebo that reported on 'Failure to close a PDA after single or three doses' (Bagnoli 2013), and we made this the primary outcome for this comparison as was planned at the protocol stage.

Primary outcomes
Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after three doses (Outcome 1.1; Analysis 1.1)

There was a statistically significant reduced RR for failure to close a PDA after three doses of ibuprofen versus placebo (one study, 134 infants; RR 0.71, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.99; RD -0.18, 95% CI -0.35 to -0.01; NNTB 6, 95% CI 3 to 100; Analysis 1.1). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment (Outcome 1.2; Analysis 1.2)

There was a statistically significant reduced RR for a composite outcome of infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment (one study, 136 infants; RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.89; RD -0.22, 95% CI -0.38 to -0.06; NNTB 5, 95% CI 3 to 17; Analysis 1.2). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Secondary outcomes
Need for surgical ligation (Outcome 1.3; Analysis 1.3)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of need for surgical ligation (one study, 134 infants; RR 1.89, 95% CI 0.91 to 3.93; RD 0.12, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.25; Analysis 1.3). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) (Outcome 1.4; Analysis 1.4)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of IVH (any grade) (one study, 134 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.55; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.16; Analysis 1.4). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) (Outcome 1.5; Analysis 1.5)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of IVH (grades III and IV) (one study, 134 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.47 to 2.15; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.13; Analysis 1.5). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 1.6; Analysis 1.6)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of PVL (one study, 130 infants; RR 0.11, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.02; RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.00; P value = 0.06; Analysis 1.6). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Pulmonary haemorrhage (Outcome 1.7; Analysis 1.7)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of pulmonary haemorrhage (one study, 136 infants; RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.03 to 2.18; RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.02; Analysis 1.7). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Pulmonary hypertension (Outcome 1.8; Analysis 1.8)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of pulmonary hypertension (one study, 136 infants; RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.19 to 21.54; RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.06; Analysis 1.8). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Retinopathy of prematurity (any stage) (Outcome 1.9; Analysis 1.9)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of ROP (any stage) (one study, 129 infants; RR 1.19, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.62; RD 0.10, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.27; Analysis 1.9). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) (Outcome 1.10, Analysis 1.10)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of ROP (stage 3 or 4) (one study, 129 infants; RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.38 to 3.68; RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.11; Analysis 1.10). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Retinopathy of prematurity (plus disease) (Outcome 1.11; Analysis 1.11)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of ROP (plus disease) (one study, 129 infants; RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.31 to 5.63: RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.09; Analysis 1.11). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Chronic lung disease (supplemental oxygen at 28 days of age) (Outcome 1.12; Analysis 1.12)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of CLD (supplemental oxygen at 28 days of age) (one study, 130 infants; RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.26; RD 0.08, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.20; Analysis 1.12). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Chronic lung disease (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 1.13; Analysis 1.13)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of CLD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA) (one study, 98 infants; RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.11; RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.10; Analysis 1.13). Tests for heterogeneity not applicable.

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 1.14; Analysis 1.14)

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of NEC (two studies, 264 infants; typical RR 1.84, 95% CI 0.87 to 3.90; typical RD 0.06, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.13; Analysis 1.14). There was high heterogeneity for the RR (I2 = 77%) and moderate heterogeneity for the RD (I2 = 67%).

Mortality by 28 days (Outcome 1.15; Analysis 1.15)

There was no statistically significant difference in mortality by 28 days of age (one study, 134 infants); there were no deaths in either group (RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.03; Analysis 1.15). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Oliguria (urine output less than 1 mL/kg/hour) (Outcome 1.16; Analysis 1.16)

There was a statistically significant difference in the incidence of oliguria with a higher incidence in the ibuprofen group (one study, 134 infants; RR 39, 95% CI 2.40 to 633.01; RD 0.28, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.39; NNTH 4, 95% CI 3 to 6; Analysis 1.16). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Creatinine after treatment (Outcome 1.17; Analysis 1.17)

There was a statistically significantly higher creatinine level in the ibuprofen group (one study, 134 infants; MD 29.17 µmol/L, 95% CI 12.60 to 45.74; Analysis 1.17). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Blood urea nitrogen after treatment (Outcome 1.18; Analysis 1.18)

There was a statistically significantly higher BUN level in the ibuprofen group (one study, 134 infants; MD 18.45 µmol/L, 95% CI 12.76 to 24.14; Analysis 1.18). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Mortality (Outcome 1.19; Analysis 1.19)

There was no statistically significant difference in mortality during hospital stay (one study, 136 infants; RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.34 to 1.90; RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.08; Analysis 1.19). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Since this review was first published, oral ibuprofen has been introduced to close a PDA. Therefore, we included additional comparisons that were not planned a priori.

Oral ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 2)

Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after single or three doses of ibuprofen (Outcome 2.1; Analysis 2.1)

One study reported on failure to close a PDA after single or three doses of ibuprofen (Lin 2012). There was a significant reduction in the failure rate to close a PDA (64 infants; RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.62; RD -0.44, 95% CI -0.65 to -0.23; NNTB 2, 95% CI 2 to 4; Analysis 2.1). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

The authors reported that the incidence of PVL and BPD were significantly lower in the ibuprofen group than in the placebo group (P value < 0.05). The duration of mechanical ventilation and hospitalisation were significantly shorter in the ibuprofen group than in the placebo group (P value < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the incidence of IVH, early pulmonary haemorrhage and NEC between the two groups (P value > 0.05). Only the abstract was available to us and numbers for these outcomes were not reported in the abstract. We have written to the authors to try to obtain more information, but we have not received any feedback.

Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 3)

We included 21 studies for one or more of the outcomes listed under this comparison.

Primary outcome
Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after single or three doses (Outcome 3.1; Analysis 3.1; Figure 1)

All 21 studies reported failure rates for PDA closure after one or three doses of ibuprofen compared with indomethacin included in this comparison and none found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (1102 infants; typical RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.20; typical RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.05; Analysis 3.1; Figure 1). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Secondary outcomes
All-cause mortality (Outcome 3.2; Analysis 3.2)

Nine studies reported on mortality that occurred at an unspecified time while in hospital and none found a statistically significant difference between the groups. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the groups (553 infants; typical RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.09; typical RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.01; Analysis 3.2). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Neonatal mortality (death during first 28/30 days of life) (Outcome 3.3; Analysis 3.3)

Four studies reported on mortality by 28 or 30 days of age. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (333 infants; typical RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.59 to 2.11; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.08; Analysis 3.3). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Infant mortality (mortality during the first year of life)

None of the studies reported on infant mortality.

Re-opening of the ductus arteriosus (Outcome 3.4; Analysis 3.4)

Six studies reported on re-opening of the PDA and none of the individual studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (204 infants; typical RR 1.28, 95% CI 0.48 to 3.38; typical RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.09; Analysis 3.4). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Need for surgical closure of the patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome 3.5; Analysis 3.5)

Fourteen studies reported on need for surgical closure of the PDA and none found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (931 infants; typical RR 1.07, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.50; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.05; Analysis 3.5). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Need for re-treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen to close the patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome 3.6; Analysis 3.6)

Seven studies reported on need for re-treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen to close the PDA and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (241 infants; typical RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.90; typical RD 0.04, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.14; Analysis 3.6). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Duration of ventilator support (Outcome 3.7; Analysis 3.7)

Six studies (471 infants) reported on duration of ventilator support. Two studies found a statistically significant difference in the duration of ventilation in favour of the ibuprofen group (Adamska 2005; Gimeno Navarro 2005). In the meta-analysis, there was a statistically significant difference between the groups favouring ibuprofen (six studies, 471 infants; MD -2.35 days, 95% CI -3.71 to -0.99; Analysis 3.7). There was no heterogeneity between the studies (I2 = 19%).

Duration of supplementary oxygen (Outcome 3.8; Analysis 3.8)

Six studies reported on duration of supplementary oxygen and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (556 infants; MD -0.33 days, 95% CI -1.66 to 0.99; Analysis 3.8). There was low between-study heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 46%).

Pneumothorax

No study reported on pneumothorax.

Pulmonary haemorrhage (Outcome 3.9; Analysis 3.9)

Three studies reported on pulmonary haemorrhage and neither of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (103 infants; typical RR 1.23, 95% CI 0.37 to 4.10; typical RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.13; Analysis 3.9). There was low between-study heterogeneity for RR but moderate heterogeneity for RD (RR: I2 = 46%; RD: I2 = 63%).

Pulmonary hypertension (Outcome 3.10; Analysis 3.10)

Two studies reported on pulmonary hypertension and there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (118 infants; typical RR 3.53, 95% CI 0.15 to 81.11; typical RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.08; Analysis 3.10). There was no heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Chronic lung disease (at 28 days) (Outcome 3.11; Analysis 3.11)

Five studies reported on CLD at 28 days and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of CLD at 28 days in the ibuprofen group compared with indomethacin group (292 infants; typical RR 1.20, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.55; typical RD 0.08, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.19; Analysis 3.11). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 3.12; Analysis 3.12)

Three studies reported on CLD at 36 weeks' PMA and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (357 infants; typical RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.61; typical RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.12; Analysis 3.12). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Chronic lung disease (age not stated) (Outcome 3.13; Analysis 3.13)

Two studies reported on CLD (age not stated) and neither study found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (81 infants; typical RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.27; typical RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.19; Analysis 3.13). There was no statistically significant between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades I to IV) (Outcome 3.14; Analysis 3.14)

Five studies reported on IVH grades I to IV and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (180 infants; typical RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.48; typical RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.08; Analysis 3.14). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) (Outcome 3.15; Analysis 3.15)

Nine studies reported on IVH grades III and IV and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (654 infants, typical RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.75; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.05; Analysis 3.15). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 3.16; Analysis 3.16)

Six studies reported on PVL and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (573 infants; typical RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.67 to 2.30; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.05; Analysis 3.16). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage) (Outcome 3.17; Analysis 3.17; Figure 2)

Sixteen studies reported on NEC (any stage) and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In one study, the rates of NEC were exceptionally high in both groups (Chotigeat 2003). In the meta-analysis, there was a statistically significant difference between the groups (948 infants; typical RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.93; typical RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.08 to -0.01; NNTB 20, 95% CI 13 to 100; Analysis 3.17; Figure 2). There was no statistically significant between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intestinal perforation (Outcome 3.18; Analysis 3.18)

Five studies reported on intestinal perforation and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (255 infants; typical RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.20 to 1.14; typical RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.01; Analysis 3.18). There was no between-study heterogeneity (RR: I2 = 0%; RD: I2 = 6%).

Gastrointestinal bleed (Outcome 3.19; Analysis 3.19)

Six studies reported on gastrointestinal bleed. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (314 infants, typical RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.57 to 2.15; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.08; Analysis 3.19). There was no statistically significant between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Time to full enteral feeds (Outcome 3.20; Analysis 3.20)

Four studies reported on time to full enteral feeds and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (413 infants; MD 0.70 days, 95% CI -1.89 to 3.29 days; Analysis 3.20). There was low between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 31%).

Time to regain birth weight (Outcome 3.21; Analysis 3.21)

Two studies reported on time to regain BW and neither of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (188 infants; MD -0.18 days, 95% CI -2.59 to 2.22; Analysis 3.21). There was moderate between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 67%).

Retinopathy of prematurity (according to the international classification of retinopathy of prematurity) (Outcome 3.22; Analysis 3.22)

Five studies reported on ROP and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (237 infants; typical RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.38; typical RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.07; Analysis 3.22). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Sepsis (Outcome 3.23; Analysis 3.23)

Six studies reported on sepsis and none of the studies found a statistically significant difference between the groups. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (535 infants; typical RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.81; typical RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.06; Analysis 3.23). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Oliguria (urine output less than 1 mL/kg/hr) (Outcome 3.24; Analysis 3.24)

Six studies reported on oliguria. Two trials found a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of infants with oliguria in the ibuprofen group (Lago 2002; Van Overmeire 2000). In the meta-analysis, there was a statistically significant reduction in the proportion of infants with oliguria in the ibuprofen group (576 infants; typical RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.54; typical RD -0.09, 95% CI -0.14 to -0.05; NNTB 11, 95% CI 7 to 20; Analysis 3.24). There was no between-study heterogeneity for RR (I2 = 24%) and moderate for RD (I2 = 69%). Hammerman et al. reported no statistically significant differences in urine output between the ibuprofen and indomethacin groups at pretreatment and at 24 and 48 hours after treatment (Hammerman 2008).

Serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment (Outcome 3.25; Analysis 3.25)

Nine studies (574 infants) reported on serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment in such a format that the data could be used to summarise the information. Three individual studies found statistically significant lower serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after initiation of treatment in the ibuprofen group compared with the indomethacin group (Chotigeat 2003; Lago 2002; Supapannachart 2002). In the meta-analysis, the serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after initiation of treatment were not statistically significantly lower in the ibuprofen group (nine studies, 574 infants; MD -1.68 µmol/L, 95% CI -5.23 to 1.87; Analysis 3.24). There was moderate between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 63%).

Pezzati and co-workers noted significantly lower serum creatinine levels on day three in the ibuprofen group compared with the indomethacin group (P value < 0.05; data provided in graph form only) (Pezzati 1999). Plavka and co-workers reported lower serum creatinine levels in the ibuprofen group compared with the indomethacin group in the first 96 hours of treatment (P value < 0.01; data for the two groups not provided) (Plavka 2001). Van Overmeire and co-workers noted the maximal difference in serum creatinine levels between the ibuprofen and the indomethacin groups to occur on day three (P value = 0.07; data provided in graph form only) (Van Overmeire 1997). The lower levels were observed in the ibuprofen group. In their second trial, Van Overmeire and co-workers noted significantly lower serum creatinine levels in the ibuprofen group compared with the indomethacin group (P value = 0.04 overall; data provided in graph form only) (Van Overmeire 2000). Pourarian and co-workers reported that the MDs in serum creatinine before and after treatment were 0.35 mg/dL in the ibuprofen group and 0.45 mg/dL in the indomethacin group (SDs were not provided) (Pourarian 2008).

Increase in serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment (Outcome 3.26; Analysis 3.26)

One study reported on serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment (Aly 2007). The increase in serum creatinine levels was significantly lower in the ibuprofen group compared with the indomethacin group (21 infants; MD -15.91 µmol/L, 95% CI -31.78 to -0.04; Analysis 3.26). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Duration of hospitalisation (Outcome 3.27; Analysis 3.27)

Four studies reported on duration of hospitalisation.

There was no significant difference between the groups in the individual studies nor in the meta-analysis in duration of hospitalisation (368 infants; MD -0.69 days, 95% CI -4.54 to 3.16; Analysis 3.27). There was no heterogeneity between the studies (I2 = 12%).

Neurodevelopmental outcome (neurodevelopmental outcome assessed by a standardised and validated assessment tool or a child developmental specialist, or both) at any age reported (no outcome table)

No long-term outcome data were reported on neurodevelopmental outcome.

The effects on cerebral blood flow velocity or cerebral blood flow were not included as predetermined outcomes in this review. However, several authors reported on these outcomes. All results favoured the ibuprofen group with less reduction in cerebral blood flow velocity or cerebral blood flow.

Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 4)

Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after three doses) (Outcome 4.1; Analysis 4.1; Figure 3)

Eight trials reported on failure to close a PDA. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (272 infants; typical RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.27; typical RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.09; Analysis 4.1; Figure 3). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

All-cause mortality (during hospital stay) (Outcome 4.2; Analysis 4.2)

Four studies reported on all-cause mortality. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (165 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.17 to 1.00; typical RD -0.10, 95% CI -0.20 to -0.00; P value = 0.05; Analysis 4.2). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Neonatal mortality (during first 28/30 days of life) (Outcome 4.3; Analysis 4.3)

Two studies reported on neonatal mortality. There was no statistically significant difference in either of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (66 infants; typical RR 1.33, 95% CI 0.33 to 5.39; typical RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.18). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Re-opening of the ductus arteriosus (Outcome 4.4; Analysis 4.4)

One study reported on re-opening of the ductus arteriosus. There was no case of re-opening of the ductus in either of the groups (20 infants; RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.17; Analysis 4.4). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Need for surgical closure of the patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome (4.5) (Analysis 4.5)

Four studies reported on need for surgical closure of the PDA. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (174 infants; typical RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.74; typical RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.10; Analysis 4.5). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Pulmonary haemorrhage (Outcome 4.6; Analysis 4.6)

One study reported on pulmonary haemorrhage. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (21 infants; RR 0.15, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.86; RD -0.22, 95% CI -0.51 to 0.07; Analysis 4.6). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Pulmonary hypertension (Outcome 4.7; Analysis 4.7)

One study reported on pulmonary hypertension. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin; there were no cases in either group (83 infants; RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.05; Analysis 4.7). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Chronic lung disease (at 28 days) (Outcome 4.8; Analysis 4.8)

One trial reported on CLD at 28 days. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (30 infants; RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.95; RD -0.07, 95% CI -0.42 to 0.29; Analysis 4.8). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Chronic lung disease (36 weeks' postmenstrual age)

No trial reported on CLD at 36 weeks' PMA.

Chronic lung disease (age not stated) (Outcome 4.10; Analysis 4.9)

One trial reported on CLD (age not stated). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin (18 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.92; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.44 to 0.44; Analysis 4.9). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades I to IV) (Outcome 4.11; Analysis 4.10)

Three trials reported on IVH (grades I to IV). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (77 infants; typical RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.83; typical RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.22 to 0.16; Analysis 4.10). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) (Outcome 4.12; Analysis 4.11)

Two trials reported on IVH (grades III and IV). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin in either of the trials (124 infants; typical RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.96; typical RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.05; Analysis 4.11). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 4.13; Analysis 4.12)

One trial reported on PVL. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin (41 infants; RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.38; RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.08; Analysis 4.12). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 4.14; Analysis 4.13; Figure 4)

Seven trials reported on NEC. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin but the meta-analysis showed a statistically significant difference (249 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.73; typical RD -0.13, 95% CI -0.22 to -0.05; NNTB 8, 95% CI 5 to 20; Analysis 4.13; Figure 4). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intestinal perforation (Outcome 4.15; Analysis 4.14)

Two trials reported on intestinal perforation. There was no statistically significant difference in either of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (62 infants; typical RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.03 to 1.95; typical RD -0.10, 95% CI -0.25 to 0.04; Analysis 4.14). In one trial, no perforations occurred in either of the groups (Aly 2007). Test for heterogeneity for RR not applicable (there were no outcomes in one trial and low heterogeneity for RD (I2 = 38%)).

Gastrointestinal bleed (Outcome 4.16; Analysis 4.15)

Three trials reported on gastrointestinal bleed. There was no statistically significant difference in any of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (85 infants; typical RR 2.80, 95% CI 0.48 to 16.45; typical RD 0.07, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.18; Analysis 4.15). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Retinopathy of prematurity (Outcome 4.17; Analysis 4.16)

Two studies reported on ROP. There was no statistically significant difference in either of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (71 infants; typical RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.35 to 2.73; typical RD -0.00, -0.18 to 0.17; Analysis 4.16). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Sepsis (Outcome 4.18; Analysis 4.17)

Two studies reported on sepsis. There was no statistically significant difference either of the trials comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (53 infants; typical RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.54 to 2.19; typical RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.22 to 0.28; Analysis 4.17). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Oliguria (less than 1 mL/kg/hour) (Outcome 4.19; Analysis 4.18)

One study reported on oliguria. None of the infants in the study experienced oliguria (36 infants; RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.10 to 0.10; Analysis 4.18). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment (Outcome 4.20; Analysis 4.19)

Five studies reported on serum/plasma creatinine levels. Two studies showed a statistically significant reduction in serum/plasma creatinine levels comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin (Chotigeat 2003; Supapannachart 2002), but the meta-analysis did not show a significant reduction (190 infants; MD -0.51 µmol/L, 95% CI -6.04 to 5.01; Analysis 4.19). There was moderate heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 72%).

Duration of hospital stay (Outcome 4.21; Analysis 4.20)

One study reported on duration of hospital stay. There was no difference comparing oral ibuprofen with indomethacin (83 infants; MD 4.55 days, 95% CI -3.61 to 12.71; Analysis 4.20). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 5)

Primary outcome
Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after three doses) (Outcome 5.1; Analysis 5.1; Figure 5)

Four studies reported on failure to close a PDA. There was a statistically significant reduction (for both RR and RD) in one of the four trials comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen (Gokmen 2011), and the meta-analysis showed a statistically significant difference (304 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.64; typical RD -0.21, 95% CI -0.31 to -0.12; NNTB 5, 95% CI 3 to 8; Analysis 5.1; Figure 5). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Secondary outcomes
Mortality (during first 28/30 days of life) (Outcome 5.2; Analysis 5.2)

One study reported on mortality during the first 28/30 days of life. There was no significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen (64 infants; RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.50 to 2.55; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.25; Analysis 5.2). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Mortality (during hospital stay) (Outcome 5.3; Analysis 5.3)

Two studies reported on mortality during hospital stay. There was no significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in either of the two studies and the meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference (188 infants; typical RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.82; typical RD -0.02, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.07; Analysis 5.3). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Plasma cystatin-C after treatment (Outcome 5.4; Analysis 5.4)

One study reported on plasma cystatin-C after treatment. There was a statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen (102 infants; MD -0.25 mg/dL, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.13; Analysis 5.4). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Need for surgical closure of the ductus (Outcome 5.5; Analysis 5.5)

Four studies reported on need for surgical closure of the ductus. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in any of the four studies. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (304 infants; typical RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.11 to 1.17; typical RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.00; Analysis 5.5). There was no or low heterogeneity for this outcome (RR: I2 = 0%; RD: I2 = 35%).

Duration of ventilatory support (Outcome 5.6; Analysis 5.6)

Two studies reported on duration of ventilatory support. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in either of the two studies. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (134 infants; typical MD 0.54 days, 95% CI -0.01 to 1.10; Analysis 5.6). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 10% for MD).

Duration of hospitalisation (Outcome 5.7; Analysis 5.7)

Three studies reported on duration of hospitalisation. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in any of the three studies. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (236 infants; typical MD -2.51 days, 95% CI -5.21 to 0.19; Analysis 5.7). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for MD).

Pneumothorax (Outcome 5.8; Analysis 5.8)

Two studies reported on pneumothorax. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in either of the two studies. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (172 infants; typical RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.11 to 1.54; typical RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.02; Analysis 5.8). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 19% for RR and 13% for RD).

Pulmonary haemorrhage (Outcome 5.9; Analysis 5.9)

One study reported on pulmonary haemorrhage. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen with iv ibuprofen in this study (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.52; RD -0.09, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.02; Analysis 5.9). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Pulmonary hypertension (Outcome 5.10; Analysis 5.10)

Two studies reported on pulmonary hypertension. There were no cases of pulmonary hypertension in either study (172 infants; typical RR not estimable; typical RD 0.00. 95% CI -0.03 to 0.03; Analysis 5.10). There was no heterogeneity (not applicable for RR; I2 = 0% for RD).

Chronic lung disease (at 28 days)

No study reported on CLD at 28 days.

Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age or at discharge) (Outcome 5.11; Analysis 5.11)

Three studies reported on CLD at 36 weeks' PMA. There was no statistically significant difference comparing oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen in any of the three studies. The meta-analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (236 infants; typical RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.20; typical RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.05; Analysis 5.11). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Chronic lung disease (age not stated)

No study reported on CLD (age not stated).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades I to IV) (Outcome 5.12; Analysis 5.12)

One study reported on IVH (grades I to IV). There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen (64 infants; RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.59 to 2.00; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.21 to 0.27; Analysis 5.12). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV)

No study reported on IVH (grades III and IV).

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 5.13; Analysis 5.13)

One study reported on PVL. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen (64 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.15 to 6.67; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.12; Analysis 5.13). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 5.14; Analysis 5.14)

Three studies reported on NEC. There was no statistically significant difference between the oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (236 infants; typical RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.35 to 2.15; typical RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.06; Analysis 5.14). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Intestinal perforation (Outcome 5.15; Analysis 5.15)

Two studies reported on intestinal perforation. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (134 infants; typical RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.48; typical RD -0.02, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.04; Analysis 5.15). Test for heterogeneity not applicable for RR and I2 = 0% for RD.

Gastrointestinal bleed (Outcome 5.16; Analysis 5.16)

Two studies reported on gastrointestinal bleed. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (172 infants; typical RR 2.89, 95% CI 0.12 to 69.24; typical RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.05; Analysis 5.16). Test for heterogeneity not applicable for RR and I2 = 0% for RD.

Sepsis (Outcome 5.17; Analysis 5.17)

Three studies reported on sepsis. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in the individual studies or in the meta-analysis (236 infants; typical RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.25; typical RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.06; Analysis 5.17). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (RR: I2 = 0%; RD: I2 = 19%).

Retinopathy of prematurity that required laser treatment (Outcome 5.18; Analysis 5.18)

Two studies reported on ROP that required laser treatment. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in either of the two trials or in the meta-analysis (172 infants; typical RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.34; typical RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.03; Analysis 5.18). There was no heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

Serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment (Outcome 5.19; Analysis 5.19)

Two studies reported on serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment. There was a statistically significant reduction with oral ibuprofen compared with iv ibuprofen (170 infants; MD -22.47 μmol/L, 95% CI -32.40 to -12.53; Analysis 5.19). There was high heterogeneity for this outcome (I2 = 81%).

Oliguria (Outcome 5.20; Analysis 5.20)

Four studies reported on oliguria (304 infants). Three studies had no cases of oliguria (Erdeve 2012; Gokmen 2011; Pistulli 2014). There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen in the fourth study (Cherif 2008) (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.66; Analysis 5.20). A typical RR could not be calculated; the typical RD was -0.02 (95% CI -0.05 to 0.01). Test for heterogeneity not applicable for RR and there was no heterogeneity for RD (I2 = 19%).

Mental Developmental Index (Bayley II) at 18 to 24 months (Outcome 5.21; Analysis 5.21)

One study reported on Mental Developmental Index (Bayley II) at 18 to 24 months. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen (57 infants; MD -9.00, 95% CI -23.89 to 5.89; Analysis 5.21). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Psychomotor Developmental Index (Bayley II) at 18 to 24 months (Outcome 5.22; Analysis 5.22)

One study reported on Psychomotor Developmental Index (Bayley II) at 18 to 24 months. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen (57 infants; MD 5.00, 95% CI -7.67 to 17.67; Analysis 5.22). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Moderate/severe cerebral palsy at 18 to 24 months (Outcome 5.23; Analysis 5.23)

One study reported on moderate/severe cerebral palsy at 18 to 24 months. There was no statistically significant difference between oral ibuprofen and iv ibuprofen (57 infants; RR 1.35, 95% CI 0.24 to 7.48; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.12 to 0.17; Analysis 5.23). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Blindness at 18 to 24 months (Outcome 5.24; Analysis 5.24)

One study reported on blindness at 18 to 24 months. There was no case of blindness either in the oral ibuprofen group or the iv ibuprofen group (57 infants; RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.07; Analysis 5.24). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Deafness at 18 to 24 months (Outcome 5.25; Analysis 5.25)

One study reported on deafness at 18 to 24 months. There was no case of deafness either in the oral ibuprofen group or the iv ibuprofen group (57 infants; RR not estimable; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.07; Analysis 5.25). Test for heterogeneity not applicable.

Intravenous high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose regimen of ibuprofen (Comparison 6)

Two studies compared a high dose of ibuprofen (20-10-10 mg/kg/day) (Dani 2012) or (15-7.5-7.5 mg/kg/day) (Fesharaki 2012) versus standard dose of ibuprofen (10-5-5 mg/kg/day).

The study by Dani 2012 randomised 95 infants. We report on the outcomes included by the authors and these included 70 infants for all reported outcomes except for mortality during hospital stay, which included 95 infants (all infants randomised) (a total of 25 infants were excluded because of 20 deaths and five infants with incomplete data). The study by Fesharaki 2012 randomised 60 infants. The only outcome that was reported by both studies was failure to close a PDA. As only one study is included for each of the other outcomes, tests for heterogeneity are not applicable for those outcomes.

Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after three doses) (Outcome 6.1; Analysis 6.1)

Two studies reported on failure to close a PDA. There was a significant reduction in favour of high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose ibuprofen (130 infants; typical RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.64; typical RD -0.23, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.10; NNTB 4, 95% CI 3 to 10; Analysis 6.1). There was low heterogeneity for RR (I2 = 35%) and none for RD (I2 = 0%).

Re-opening after a second course of ibuprofen (Outcome 6.2; Analysis 6.2)

One study reported on re-opening after a second course of ibuprofen. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.39 to 10.22; RD 0.06, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.19; Analysis 6.2).

Need for surgical closure (Outcome 6.3; Analysis 6.3)

One study reported on need for surgical closure. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.15 to 6.71; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.11; Analysis 6.3).

Mortality during hospital stay (Outcome 6.4; Analysis 6.4)

One study reported on mortality during hospital stay. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (95 infants; RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.71; RD -0.01, 95% CI -0.20 to 0.17; Analysis 6.4).

Urine output on day three (Outcome 6.5; Analysis 6.5)

One study reported on urine output on day three. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; MD 0.10, 95% CI -0.70 to 0.90; Analysis 6.5).

Oliguria (less than 1 mL/kg/hour during 24 hours) after onset of treatment (Outcome 6.6; Analysis 6.6)

One study reported on oliguria (less than 1 mL/kg/hour). There was no significant difference in the incidence of oliguria between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.27 to 8.43; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.15; Analysis 6.6).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (all grades) (Outcome 6.7; Analysis 6.7)

One study reported on IVH (all grades). There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.21 to 2.16; RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.22 to 0.11; Analysis 6.7).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) (Outcome 6.8; Analysis 6.8)

One study reported on IVH (grades III and IV). There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.10 to 2.56; RD -0.06, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.07; Analysis 6.8).

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 6.9; Analysis 6.9)

One study reported on PVL. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.27 to 8.43; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.15; Analysis 6.9).

Retinopathy of prematurity (all stages) (Outcome 6.10; Analysis 6.10)

One study reported on ROP (all stages). There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.27 to 3.69; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.15; Analysis 6.10).

Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) (Outcome 6.11; Analysis 6.11)

One study reported ROP (stage 3 or 4). There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.19 to 21.06; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.12; Analysis 6.11).

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 6.12; Analysis 6.12)

One study reported on NEC. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.33, 95% CI 0.32 to 5.53; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.17; Analysis 6.12).

Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 6.13; Analysis 6.13)

One study reported on CLD at 36 weeks' PMA. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 1.60, 95% CI 0.85 to 3.02; RD 0.17, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.39; Analysis 6.13).

Sepsis (Outcome 6.14; Analysis 6.14)

One study reported on sepsis. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.68; RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.26 to 0.20; Analysis 6.14).

Hospital stay (Outcome 6.15; Analysis 6.15)

One study reported on hospital stay. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (70 infants; MD 21 days, 95% CI -1.44 to 43.44; Analysis 6.15).

Oliguria (Outcome 6.16; Analysis 6.16)

One study reported on oliguria. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (60 infants; RR 1.33, 95% CI 0.33 to 5.45; RD 0.03, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.20; Analysis 6.16).

Gastrointestinal bleed (Outcome 6.17; Analysis 6.17)

One study reported on gastrointestinal bleed. There was no significant difference between high-dose ibuprofen and standard-dose ibuprofen (60 infants; RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.50 to 3.92; RD 0.07, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.27; Analysis 6.17).

Early versus expectant administration of intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 7)

Only one study compared early versus expectant administration of ibuprofen (Sosenko 2012). The study enrolled 105 infants. We reported on the outcomes included by the authors and these included 105 infants for all reported outcomes. As only one study was included for each of the outcomes, tests for heterogeneity are not applicable.

Primary outcome
Days on supplemental oxygen during the first 28 days (Outcome 7.1; Analysis 7.1)

There was a statistically significant difference between early and expectant administration (105 infants; MD 2.00 days, 95% CI 0.04 to 3.96; P value = 0.05; Analysis 7.1).

Secondary outcomes
Days on supplemental oxygen (Outcome 7.2; Analysis 7.2)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for days on supplemental oxygen (105 infants; MD 2.00 days, 95% CI -8.20 to 12.20; Analysis 7.2).

Days on mechanical ventilation first 28 days (Outcome 7.3; Analysis 7.3)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for days on mechanical ventilation first 28 days (105 infants; MD 2.00 days, 95% CI -0.58 to 4.58; Analysis 7.3).

Days on mechanical ventilation (Outcome 7.4; Analysis 7.4)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for days on mechanical ventilation (105 infants; MD -1.00 days, 95% CI -6.98 to 4.98; Analysis 7.4).

Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 7.5; Analysis 7.5)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for CLD at 36 weeks' PMA (105 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.75; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.18; Analysis 7.5).

Mortality or chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 7.6; Analysis 7.6)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for mortality or CLD at 36 weeks' PMA (105 infants; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.67; RD -0.00, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.18; Analysis 7.6).

Mortality during hospital stay (Outcome 7.7; Analysis 7.7)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for mortality during hospital stay (105 infants; RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.19 to 2.10; RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.07; Analysis 7.7).

Pneumothorax (Outcome 7.8; Analysis 7.8)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for pneumothorax (105 infants; RR 1.26, 95% CI 0.30 to 5.35; RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.11; Analysis 7.8).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) (Outcome 7.9; Analysis 7.9)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for IVH (grades III and IV) (105 infants; RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.29 to 2.25; RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.10; Analysis 7.9).

Periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 7.10; Analysis 7.10)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for PVL (105 infants; RR 1.26, 95% CI 0.30 to 5.35; RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.11; Analysis 7.10).

Necrotising enterocolitis (requiring surgery) (Outcome 7.11; Analysis 7.11)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for NEC requiring surgery (105 infants; RR 2.36, 95% CI 0.48 to 11.63; RD 0.05, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.15; Analysis 7.11).

Intestinal perforation (Outcome 7.12; Analysis 7.12)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for intestinal perforation (105 infants; RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.09 to 2.47; RD -0.04, -0.13 to 0.05; Analysis 7.12).

Sepsis (Outcome 7.13; Analysis 7.13)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for sepsis (105 infants; RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.41; RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.23 to 0.15; Analysis 7.13).

Retinopathy of prematurity (Outcome 7.14; Analysis 7.14)

There was no statistically significant difference between the early versus the expectant group for ROP (95 infants; RR 1.57, 95% CI 0.49 to 5.03; RD 0.05, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.18; Analysis 7.14).

Echocardiographically guided intravenous ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 8)

Primary outcome

Only one study reported on this comparison (Bravo 2014). As only one study was included for any of the outcome analyses listed below, tests for heterogeneity were not applicable.

Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome 8.1; Analysis 8.1)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for failure to close a PDA (49 infants; RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.44 to 3.91; RD 0.06, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.29; Analysis 8.1).

Secondary outcomes
Re-opening of patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome 8.2; Analysis 8.2)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for re-opening of PDA (49 infants; RR 2.25, 95% CI 0.25 to 20.13; RD 0.06, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.21; Analysis 8.2).

Number of ibuprofen doses (Outcome 8.3; Analysis 8.3)

There was a statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for number of ibuprofen doses favouring ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen (49 infants; MD -1.25 doses, 95% CI -1.70 to -0.80; Analysis 8.3).

Need for surgical ligation

The study did not report on need for surgical ligation.

Mortality during hospital stay (Outcome 8.4; Analysis 8.4)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for mortality during hospital stay (49 infants; RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.14 to 2.25; RD -0.08, 95% CI -0.29 to 0.12; Analysis 8.4).

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 8.5; Analysis 8.5)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen group for BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA) (49 infants; RR 1.35, 95% CI 0.53 to 3.44; RD 0.08, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.33; Analysis 8.5).

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 8.6; Analysis 8.6)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for NEC (49 infants; RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.08 to 1.86; RD -0.12, 95% CI -0.31 to 0.07; Analysis 8.6).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grade II and III) (Outcome 8.7; Analysis 8.7)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen group and standard iv ibuprofen group for IVH (grade II and III) (49 infants; RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.60 to 3.74; RD 0.12, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.37; Analysis 8.7).

White matter damage (Outcome 8.8; Analysis 8.8)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen group for white matter damage (49 infants; RR 1.88, 95% CI 0.40 to 8.74; RD 0.08, 95% CI -0.11 to 0.27; Analysis 8.8).

Oliguria (urine output less than 1 mL/kg/hour) (Outcome 8.9; Analysis 8.9)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen for oliguria (49 infants; RR 5.31, 95% CI 0.29 to 97.57; RD 0.11, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.24; Analysis 8.9).

Serum/plasma creatinine after treatment (Outcome 8.10; Analysis 8.10)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen and standard iv ibuprofen group for serum/plasma creatinine (49 infants; MD -11.49 µmol/L, 95% CI -29.88 to 6.90; Analysis 8.10).

Laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity (Outcome 8.11; Analysis 8.11)

There was no statistically significant difference between ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen group and standard iv ibuprofen group for laser therapy for ROP (49 infants; RR 2.25, 95% CI 0.50 to 10.05; RD 0.12, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.32; Analysis 8.11).

Continuous intravenous infusion of ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (boluses) (Comparison 9)

Only one study reported on this comparison (Lago 2014). As only one study is included for any of the outcome analyses listed below, tests for heterogeneity were not applicable.

Primary outcome
Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after one course of ibuprofen (Outcome 9.1; Analysis 9.1)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for failure to close a PDA after one course of ibuprofen (111 infants; RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.58; RD 0.10, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.28; Analysis 9.1).

Secondary outcomes
Re-opening of patent ductus arteriosus (Outcome 9.2; Analysis 9.2)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for re-opening of PDA (111 infants; RR 3.05, 95% CI 0.33 to 28.47; RD 0.04, 95% CI -0.03 to 0.11; Analysis 9.2).

Need for surgical ligation (Outcome 9.3; Analysis 9.3)

There was a statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for need for surgical ligation favouring the continuous infusion of ibuprofen (111 infants; RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.94; RD -0.14, 95% CI -0.26 to -0.02; NNTB 7, 95% CI 4 to 50; Analysis 9.3).

Mortality (in hospital) (Outcome 9.4; Analysis 9.4)

There was no statistically significant difference between the continuous infusion of ibuprofen and the intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for mortality (in hospital) (111 infants; RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.07 to 15.87; RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.05; Analysis 9.4).

Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) (Outcome 9.5; Analysis 9.5)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for BPD (at 36 weeks' PMA) (111 infants; RR 1.10, 95% CI 0.55 to 2.20; RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.18; Analysis 9.5).

Retinopathy of prematurity (any stage) (Outcome 9.6; Analysis 9.6)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for ROP (any grade) (111 infants; RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.39 to 1.19; RD -0.12, 95% CI -0.29 to 0.05; Analysis 9.6).

Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) (Outcome 9.7; Analysis 9.7)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for ROP stage 3 or 4 (111 infants; RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.04 to 3.16; RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.10 to 0.03; Analysis 9.7).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) (Outcome 9.8; Analysis 9.8)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for IVH (any grade) (111 infants; RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.25 to 2.15; RD -0.03, 95% CI -0.15 to 0.08; Analysis 9.8).

Intraventricular haemorrhage (grade III and IV) (Outcome 9.9; Analysis 9.9)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for IVH (grade III and IV) (111 infants; RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.01 to 8.15; RD -0.02, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.03; Analysis 9.9).

Cystic periventricular leukomalacia (Outcome 9.10; Analysis 9.10)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for cystic PVL (111 infants; RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.05 to 5.45; RD -0.02, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.04; Analysis 9.10).

Necrotising enterocolitis (Outcome 9.11; Analysis 9.11)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for NEC (111 infants; RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.12 to 1.60; RD -0.07, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.03; Analysis 9.11).

Isolated intestinal perforation (Outcome 9.12; Analysis 9.12)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for isolated intestinal perforation (111 infants; RR 2.04, 95% CI 0.19 to 21.82; RD 0.02, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.08; Analysis 9.12).

Oliguria (1 mL/kg/hour or less) (Outcome 9.13; Analysis 9.13)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for oliguria (1 mL/kg/hour or less) (111 infants; RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.05 to 5.45; RD -0.02, -0.08 to 0.04; Analysis 9.13).

Serum/plasma creatinine after treatment (Outcome 9.14; Analysis 9.14)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for serum/plasma creatinine after treatment (111 infants; MD 2.10 µmol/L, 95% CI -4.92 to 9.12; Analysis 9.14).

Gastrointestinal haemorrhage (Outcome 9.15; Analysis 9.15)

There was no statistically significant difference between continuous infusion of ibuprofen and intermittent boluses of ibuprofen for gastrointestinal haemorrhage (111 infants; RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.59; RD -0.07, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.04; Analysis 9.15).

Subgroup analyses

We abandoned the pre-specified subgroup analyses excluding studies that used only one dose of medication and studies that were published as abstracts only for this and previous updates of the review. Only one study used a single dose and we identified only one abstract. The results of these studies were incorporated with the other studies.

We found no randomised controlled trials on the use of mefenamic acid for the treatment or prevention of a PDA.

Funnel plots

To ascertain the possibility of publication bias, we conducted two funnel plots for the comparison 'Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus iv or oral indomethacin' for the primary outcome of 'Failure to close a PDA (after single or three doses)' (Figure 6), and for the same comparison for the secondary outcome of NEC (Figure 7). Both funnel plots were quite symmetric indicating that there was no obvious indication of publication bias.

Discussion

Summary of main results

In this review, we have reported on the following comparisons.

Intravenous ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 1)

Two studies reported on iv ibuprofen versus placebo (Aranda 2005; Bagnoli 2013). Compared with placebo, intravenous ibuprofen significantly reduced the outcome 'Failure to close a PDA after three doses' (Bagnoli 2013), and the combined outcome of 'Infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment' (Aranda 2005). In one study, creatinine and BUN were significantly increased in the ibuprofen group following treatment (Bagnoli 2013). There were no significant differences in the other outcomes.

Oral ibuprofen versus placebo or no intervention (Comparison 2)

One study reported on oral ibuprofen versus placebo in abstract form (Lin 2012). Compared with placebo, oral ibuprofen statistically significantly reduced the outcome of 'Failure to close a PDA after three doses' (Lin 2012). No other outcomes were reported.

Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 3)

Twenty-one studies reported on iv or oral ibuprofen versus iv or oral indomethacin (Adamska 2005; Akisu 2001; Aly 2007; Chotigeat 2003; Fakhraee 2007; Gimeno Navarro 2005; Hammerman 2008; Lago 2002; Mosca 1997; Patel 1995; Patel 2000; Pezzati 1999; Plavka 2001; Pourarian 2008; Salama 2008; Su 2003; Su 2008; Supapannachart 2002; Van Overmeire 1997; Van Overmeire 2000; Yadav 2014). Twenty-one studies including 1102 infants reported on the outcome 'Failure to close a PDA after single or three doses'. There was no significant difference in this outcome between the two groups (Figure 1). There was a significant reduction in the duration of ventilatory support, in NEC (Figure 2), in the risk of decreased urinary output and the risk of increase in plasma/serum creatinine following treatment all favouring the ibuprofen group. There were no other statistically significant findings.

Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin (Comparison 4)

Eight studies reported on oral ibuprofen versus iv or oral indomethacin (Akisu 2001; Aly 2007; Chotigeat 2003; Fakhraee 2007; Pourarian 2008; Salama 2008; Supapannachart 2002; Yadav 2014). Eight studies including 272 infants reported on the outcome 'Failure to close a PDA after three doses'. There was no significant difference between the two groups. There was a reduction in all-cause mortality and NEC in the oral ibuprofen group compared with the iv or oral indomethacin group.

Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 5)

Four studies reported on oral ibuprofen versus iv ibuprofen (Cherif 2008; Erdeve 2012; Gokmen 2011; Pistulli 2014). Four studies including 304 infants reported on the outcome 'Failure to close a PDA after three doses'. There was a statistically significant reduction in the oral ibuprofen group. In addition, there was a reduction in the mean plasma cystatin-C level and serum/plasma creatinine levels after treatment in the ibuprofen group. There were no significant differences between the groups regarding neurodevelopment or impairments at 18 to 24 months in the 57 infants studied to date.

Intravenous high-dose ibuprofen versus standard-dose regimen of ibuprofen (Comparison 6)

Two studies reported on high-dose versus standard-dose ibuprofen (Dani 2012; Fesharaki 2012). Two studies including 130 infants reported on the outcome 'Failure to close a PDA after three doses'. There was a statistically significant reduction in the high-dose oral ibuprofen group versus the standard-dose ibuprofen group. There were no statistically significant differences noted for any of the many other outcomes reported.

Early versus expectant administration of intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 7)

One study including 105 infants studied early versus expectant administration of iv ibuprofen (Sosenko 2012). There was an increased number of days on supplemental oxygen in the early administration of ibuprofen group (P value = 0.05; borderline significance). There were no other significant differences between the groups.

Echocardiographically guided intravenous ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (Comparison 8)

One study including 49 infants studied this comparison (Bravo 2014). The number of ibuprofen doses used for treatment was lower in the ECHO group compared to standard treatment. There were no other statistically significant differences in other outcomes reported.

Continuous intravenous infusion of ibuprofen versus standard intravenous ibuprofen (boluses) (Comparison 9)

One study including 111 infants studied this comparison (Lago 2014). There was a statistically significant reduction in the need for surgical ligation in the continuous infusion group compared with standard treatment.

No other statistically significant differences between the groups were noted.

Overall completeness and applicability of evidence

Since first published in 2003 (Ohlsson 2003), the review has been regularly updated (Ohlsson 2005; Ohlsson 2008; Ohlsson 2010; Ohlsson 2013), and this update in 2014 includes data from 33 studies. A total of 2190 infants were randomised in these studies. Two ongoing studies were identified in the previous update and they are still ongoing (NCT01149564; NCT01630278), and we identified two additional ongoing studies in the 2014 update (NCT01758913; NCT02128191). Two studies that were awaiting classification have now been published (Fesharaki 2012; Pistulli 2014).

Researchers have reported on additional comparisons that we did not include in the original review in 2003 (Ohlsson 2003), and we have added these comparisons.

Ibuprofen is more effective than placebo in closure of a PDA. In the one trial that compared ibuprofen with placebo, the closure rates were 57% for ibuprofen versus 39% for placebo. There was strong evidence that ibuprofen (iv or orally) was as effective as indomethacin (iv or orally) to close a PDA (21 studies; 1102 infants). None found a statistically significant difference in failure to close a PDA. In the meta-analysis, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (typical RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.20; typical RD 0.00, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.05). There was no between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD). The CIs around the point estimates were very narrow for the primary outcome (Figure 1). Likewise, there was good evidence that ibuprofen (iv or orally) compared with indomethacin (iv or orally) reduced the risk of NEC (16 studies, 948 infants). In the meta-analysis, there was a statistically significant difference between the groups (typical RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.93; typical RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.08 to -0.01; NNTB 20, 95% CI 13 to 100). There was no statistically significant between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 0% for both RR and RD).

In a previous update of this review (Ohlsson 2005), 'Chronic lung disease defined as oxygen requirement at 28 days postnatally' was statistically significantly more likely to occur in the ibuprofen group. In the 2012, 2013 and this update in 2014 there was no significant difference in the incidence of CLD for any of the comparisons.

Data on long-term follow-up were still largely missing, which is a serious concern. Long-term follow-up to 18 to 24 months has been reported in only one study (Gokmen 2011) of oral versus iv ibuprofen. Only 57 of the original cohort of 102 infants were seen at follow-up. To date, no long-term follow-up studies have been published for the other comparisons included in this review. As mentioned in the Background, prophylactic use of indomethacin does reduce the risk of severe IVH and surgical duct ligation but does not confer any significant advantages at 18 months' corrected age with regards to intact survival (Fowlie 2010; Schmidt 2001).

One study of the prophylactic use of ibuprofen was stopped after 135 infants had been enrolled (Gournay 2002). Three infants developed severe hypoxaemia in the ibuprofen group. Hypoxaemia was thought to be due to pulmonary hypertension, as ECHO showed severely decreased pulmonary blood flow. Hypoxaemia resolved quickly on inhaled nitric oxide (Gournay 2002). The authors postulated that this could be due to early administration of ibuprofen (less than six hours) preventing the normal fall in pulmonary vascular resistance, acidification of their ibuprofen solution (buffered with tromethamine) causing precipitation and microembolism in the lungs or due to a specific effect of ibuprofen. This adverse effect has not been reported in other trials using ibuprofen for prophylaxis of PDA (Ohlsson 2011). In the 2007 update of the review (Ohlsson 2008), one randomised controlled trial reported one case of pulmonary hypertension in the ibuprofen group (Adamska 2005). In the 2010 update, there were three cases of pulmonary hypertension reported in the study by Aranda and co-workers (Aranda 2005); two in the ibuprofen group and one in the placebo group.

In an extensive search of the literature, including study designs other than randomised controlled trials, one additional case-report following L-lysine ibuprofen therapy in a preterm infant with a PDA (Bellini 2006) was identified in the 2008 update of the review (Ohlsson 2008). A repeat literature search in 2010 did not identify any new case of pulmonary hypertension associated with the treatment of a PDA in neonates (Ohlsson 2010). For the 2013 update (Ohlsson 2013), the literature was searched in July 2012 and three additional case reports of pulmonary hypertension in preterm infants treated with ibuprofen were identified (Amendolia 2012; Sehgal 2013 the study was Epub 2012 Jul 29). A repeat PubMed search in July 2014 did not identify any additional cases of pulmonary hypertension following ibuprofen treatment.

In the 2008 update of this review (Ohlsson 2008), we stated, "In view of the lack of long-term outcome data and potential side effects for both drugs, one drug cannot be recommended over the other as the therapy of choice for a PDA". In the 2010 update of the review, we found a significant reduction in the incidence of NEC in the ibuprofen versus indomethacin group (Ohlsson 2010). As the closure rates for PDA by ibuprofen and indomethacin are similar, the reduced rate of NEC is an important finding and favours the use of ibuprofen over indomethacin for the treatment of a PDA. Kidney function is less affected by ibuprofen. In this update in 2014, the closure rates for ibuprofen versus indomethacin were identical with no heterogeneity and the risk of NEC remained reduced as does the risk of adverse effects on the kidneys. Some results favour oral ibuprofen over iv ibuprofen. Oral ibuprofen is more readily available in some countries. For the comparisons 'high-dose versus standard-dose ibuprofen'; 'early versus expectant administration of ibuprofen' and 'ECHO-guided iv ibuprofen treatment versus standard iv treatment' evidence is lacking for which treatment is preferable.

Quality of the evidence

Study quality was variable and the results of this review were based on small to moderately large trials. The sample sizes varied from 16 (Mosca 1997) to 175 (Lago 2002) infants enrolled. For many of the outcomes, the sample size was too small to detect a significant difference and the estimates were imprecise. The studies were conducted in 18 different countries (Albania, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Poland, Qatar, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the UK, the US). There was no heterogeneity for the primary outcome of 'Failure to close a PDA' in any of the comparisons or for NEC in the comparisons of ibuprofen versus indomethacin. These findings increased the validity of these results. In addition, the funnel plot for the primary outcome 'Failure to close a PDA' was symmetrical, with no obvious absence of smaller studies having a protective effect of ibuprofen versus indomethacin (Figure 6). For the important secondary outcome of 'NEC', the funnel plot was also symmetrical (Figure 7).

There was high heterogeneity for the outcome of 'NEC' in Comparison 1 (I2 = 77% for RR) and moderate heterogeneity for RD (I2 = 67%). There was moderate between-study heterogeneity (I2 > 50%) for four of the secondary outcomes ('pulmonary haemorrhage', 'time to regain birth weight', 'oliguria' and 'serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment' for Comparison 3. For Comparisons 4 and 5 there was moderate heterogeneity (I2 > 50%) for 'serum/plasma creatinine levels 72 hours after treatment'.

In the 2010 update of this review (Ohlsson 2010), we identified one study (136 infants) that compared iv ibuprofen versus placebo (Aranda 2005). The study showed a statistically significant reduction in a composite outcome of infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment with a low NNTB of 5 (95% CI 3 to 17). There were no statistically significant effects on common neonatal short-term outcomes. For the update in 2012, one new inclusion compared oral ibuprofen with placebo (Lin 2012). There was a significant reduction in the failure to close a PDA with a low NNTB of 2 (95% CI 2 to 4). The report of the study was written in Chinese and we could include only the primary outcome in that update. For this update, we identified one additional study comparing iv ibuprofen versus placebo (Bagnoli 2013), and that study reported on 'Failure to close a PDA after single or three doses' and we made that outcome the primary outcome for this comparison as was planned at the protocol stage.

As can be seen in Figure 8, 'Risk of bias summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study' and in Figure 9, 'Risk of bias graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies', we identified concerns about bias in most individual studies and therefore for the group of studies included as well. The main concerns were the lack of blinding and unclear information about concealed allocation to the treatment groups.

Potential biases in the review process

We are not aware of any potential biases in the review process.

Agreements and disagreements with other studies or reviews

Indomethacin decreases cerebral blood flow in a preterm infant with PDA (Ohlsson 1993), while ibuprofen has some neuroprotective effects in animal models (Chemtob 1990; Pellicer 1999). Future studies comparing the two drugs should include long-term follow-up (intact survival) to at least 18 months of age. Sample size calculations could be based on this review and two related Cochrane reviews (Fowlie 2010; Ohlsson 2011).

Coceani and co-workers suggested that a membrane-bound prostaglandin E synthase inhibitor, once developed for therapeutic use, could become the agent of choice for PDA treatment, particularly when preterm birth is complicated by infectious or inflammatory conditions (Coceani 2005).

One systematic review that included fewer trials has come to similar conclusions as us (Neumann 2012).

Authors' conclusions

Implications for practice

Ibuprofen is effective in closing a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) compared with placebo. We found no statistically significant difference in the effectiveness of ibuprofen compared with indomethacin in closing the PDA. Ibuprofen reduced the risk of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), time on assisted ventilation and had less negative effects on renal function. Pulmonary hypertension was observed in three infants after the prophylactic use of ibuprofen, and in one case in this review and in an additional case report for the treatment of a PDA. Three new cases of pulmonary hypertension have been reported. Either ibuprofen or indomethacin can be used to close a PDA. Based on currently available information, ibuprofen does appear to confer net benefits over indomethacin for the treatment of a PDA, but the clinician needs to be aware that both drugs are associated with adverse effects.

Implications for research

Future research would benefit from long-term follow-up (intact survival) to at least 18 months' corrected age, and preferably to the age of school entry.

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to Ms. Elizabeth Uleryk for her assistance in the search of the literature and to Ms. Tara Pourdowlat, RN, for help in translating the study by Akisu et al. from Turkish to English (Akisu 2001).

Dr. David Edwards provided additional information on the study by Patel et al. (Patel 1995).

We appreciate the help of Ms. Ana Marie Nagy, RN, for helping with the interpretation of the study by Gimeno Navarro (Gimeno Navarro 2005).

We thank Dr. Z Badiee for providing an electronic copy of the paper by Fakhraee and co-workers (Fakhraee 2007), and to Dr. J Aranda for providing a copy of his paper (Aranda 2005).

Dr. C. Dani provided clarifying information regarding his paper (Dani 2012).

In 2013, Dr F. Nayeri provided an English translation of their study originally published in Persian (Fesharaki 2012).

In 2014, Dr. Annalisa Rossetti provided additional outcome data for the study by Bagnoli and co-workers (Bagnoli 2013).

Dr. María Carmen Bravo provided in 2014 clarifying information and additional outcome data for the study by herself and co-workers (Bravo 2014).

Contributions of authors

Arne Ohlsson - developed and wrote the text of the protocol and the review; performed data abstraction and analyses; and performed the updates of the review in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

Rajneesh Walia - developed and wrote the text of the protocol; and performed the updates in 2013 and 2014.

Sachin Shah - performed data abstraction and analyses; edited the text of the review; and performed the updates in 2013 and 2014.

Declarations of interest

Arne Ohlsson - none known.

Rajneesh Walia - none known.

Sachin Shah - none known.

Differences between protocol and review

We added additional comparisons and outcomes in the updates in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 (see Primary outcomes; Secondary outcomes).

Characteristics of studies

Characteristics of included studies

Adamska 2005

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in 1 NICU in Warsaw, Poland

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

35 preterm (< 33 weeks' gestation and BW < 1500 g) infants with a PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO

Ibuprofen: 16 infants, mean (SD) GA 27.7 (1.8) weeks; BW 1074 (264) g; 9 boys, 7 girls

Indomethacin: 19 infants, mean (SD) GA 27.6 (2.0) weeks; BW 1003 (192) g; 11 boys, 8 girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 3 doses given at 24-hour intervals (10, 5 and 5 mg/kg iv)

Indomethacin: 3 doses given at 24-hour intervals (0.2 mg/kg/dose iv)

Outcomes

Primary outcome: ductal closure

Other outcomes: included need for surgical ligation, IVH, PVL, NEC, intestinal perforation, oliguria, time to full oral feeds, CLD (at 28 days of age), pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, duration of mechanical ventilation and days in supplemental oxygen

Notes

Study published in Polish

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information other than "...randomly assigned"

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Adequate. Was done in a blinded manner

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

Blinding of intervention - yes
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

27 infants (12 received ibuprofen and 15 received indomethacin) were treated as per protocol. In the remaining 8 infants, treatment was stopped due to adverse effects. In the ibuprofen group the reasons to stop treatment was pulmonary haemorrhage (3/16 infants) and pulmonary hypertension (1/16); in the indomethacin group it was increased serum creatinine and urea nitrogen concentrations (3/19) and IVH (grade IV) (1/19)

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Akisu 2001

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in 1 NICU in Izmir, Turkey

Study period: July 1988 to January 2000

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

23 infants < 35 weeks' GA with ECHO-confirmed PDA

Ibuprofen: 12 infants, mean (SD) GA 32.1 (1.2) weeks; BW 1706 (187) g; 5 girls, 7 boys; 9 born by c/s, 2 born vaginally, 10 had RDS, 7 received surfactant. PDA was diagnosed on day 3.9 (0.5)

Indomethacin: 11 infants, mean (SD) GA 31.9 (1.3) weeks; BW 1645 (190) g; 6 girls, 5 boys; 8 born by c/s, 3 born vaginally, 8 had RDS, 7 received surfactant. PDA diagnosed on day 3.5 (0.6)

Interventions

Ibuprofen: via an oro-gastric tube (10 mg/kg as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later)

Indomethacin: via an oro-gastric tube (0.2 mg/kg for 3 doses at 12-hour intervals)

2 neonates in the ibuprofen group and 3 in the indomethacin group required a second treatment with the same drug

Outcomes

PDA closure; diuresis; serum creatinine; thrombocyte count; gastrointestinal haemorrhage, IVH, sepsis; mortality

Notes

Study published in Turkish

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial. No other information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Indomethacin and ibuprofen were given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Aly 2007

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in Cairo, Egypt

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed opaque envelopes)

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

21 preterm infants (< 35 weeks' gestation) aged 2-7 days with respiratory distress and PDA diagnosed by Doppler ECHO

Ibuprofen: 12 infants, mean (SD) GA 31.2 (2.5) weeks; BW 1521 (398) g; 8 boys, 4 girls

Indomethacin: 9 infants, mean (SD) GA 32.9 (1.6) weeks; BW 1884 (485) g; 4 boys, 5 girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: initial oral dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 2 doses orally of 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 hours

Indomethacin: iv as 3 doses of 0.2 mg/kg at 12-hour intervals

Outcomes

Primary outcome: ductal closure

Secondary outcomes: included biochemical tests (serum creatinine), pulmonary haemorrhage, gastrointestinal bleed, NEC, gastrointestinal perforation and increase in serum creatinine following treatment

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No description provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes. Sealed opaque envelopes were used for random assignment

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen was given orally, whereas indomethacin was given iv. Ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Aranda 2005

Methods

Multicentre, randomised controlled trial conducted in 11 centres in the USA

Study period: March 2002 to March 2005

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

136 preterm infants (BW 500-1000 g; PMA < 30 weeks) with evidence of ductal shunting by ECHO

Mean (SD) GA 26.2 (1.4) weeks, BW 798 (130.3) g, 51% boys, 49% girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 68 infants, iv as 3-day treatment course of 10 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg

Placebo: 68 infants, saline

Outcomes

Proportion of infants who required rescue treatment for PDA (indomethacin or surgery), died or dropped out on or prior to study day 14, mortality, NEC, IVH, pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, ROP, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 28 days), BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), PVL

Notes

This study was published in abstract form in 2005, but was published in a complete report in 2009

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Central randomisation was implemented using a dynamic allocation method of biased coin randomisation, balancing within BW (500-750 g and 751-1000 g), within each site, and in the study overall

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes. The coded vials of study drug or placebo contained indistinguishable colourless solutions dispensed by the blinded research pharmacists of the participating sites

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

See allocation concealment

Blinding of intervention - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Unclear risk

The outcome of BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA) was not ascertained in the whole sample as randomised. The denominator in the ibuprofen group was 46 infants and in the placebo group it was 52, which is too low when accounting for mortality

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

See incomplete data. The trials was registered with clinicaltrials.gov: ID # NCT00440804

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Bagnoli 2013

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in Siena, Italy

Study period: January 2006 to December 2010

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

134 preterm newborns with ECHO-confirmed PDA (PMA < 32 weeks, BW < 1500 g, postnatal age > 72 hours

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 67 infants, 3-day treatment course of ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg given iv over 10 minutes

Placebo: 67 infants, 0.9% NaCl given iv

Outcomes

Failure to close a PDA, need for surgical ligation of the PDA, oliguria, NEC, creatinine and BUN before and after treatment, mortality at 28 days of life

Notes

Dr. Annalisa Rossetti provided additional outcome data and information about the conduct of the trial that were not in the published report

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

The randomisation sequence was manually generated (according to an internal protocol)

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

"A randomised, placebo controlled, double blind study". No other specific information provided

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcome data reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not judge if there were any deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Bravo 2014

Methods

Single-centre, randomised placebo-controlled, double-blind trial conducted in Madrid, Spain

Study period: 11 months

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

49 preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA measuring ≥ 1.5 mm (PMA 24-34 weeks)

Interventions

Infants with PDA ≥ 1.5 mm received the first dose of ibuprofen (10 mg/kg) and were then randomised to receive either standard treatment (21 infants) or ECHO-guided treatment (28 infants)

Standard treatment: 2 additional doses of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals after the initial dose of 10 mg/kg, independently of ductal size, as long as additional doses were not contraindicated

ECHO: additional doses of ibuprofen (5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals) only if the PDA was still ≥ 1.5 mm at the time of the corresponding ibuprofen dose. A decision on whether to treat the PDA when the diameter was < 1.5 mm in the ECHO group was made on the basis of previous reports using the same approach with indomethacin. Additional ibuprofen doses were administered only when the PDA was > 1.5 mm 24 hour after a complete ibuprofen course (therapeutic failure), or when a re-opening was documented because a diameter ≥ 1.5 mm has been correlated with pulmonary overflow , as small, non-symptomatic PDA do not seem to play an important role in the pathogenesis of PDA-related morbidity

Outcomes

Primary outcome: re-opening of PDA

Secondary outcomes: failure to close a PDA, number of ibuprofen doses used, need for surgical ligation, mortality, BPD (need for supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), IVH (grade II and III), PVL, oliguria (urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour), creatinine after treatment and laser therapy for ROP

Notes

Dr. Bravo provided additional information regarding the methods and the outcomes of the trial

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Computer-generated random sequence

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Sequentially numbered opaque envelopes that contained the allocation written on a card inside

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Healthcare providers were not blinded to the intervention

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcome data provided for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Cherif 2008

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial. Conducted in the NICU of the Neonatal and Maternity Center of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia

Study period: 1 year, January 2007 to December 2007

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no for most outcomes except for physicians performing ECHO

Participants

64 VLBW infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA, PMA < 32 weeks, BW < 1500 g, postnatal age 48-96 hours, respiratory distress requiring > 25% oxygen supplementation and ECHO evidence of significant left-to-right shunting across PDA

Interventions

Ibuprofen (oral): 32 infants, oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose

Ibuprofen (iv): 32 infants, iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg as the initial dose

After the first dose of treatment in both groups, ECHO evaluation was performed to determine the need for a second or a third dose. In each group, in case the ductus was still open after the third dose, iv ibuprofen (an initial dose of 10 mg/kg followed by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg each, after 24 and 48 hours) as a non-randomised rescue treatment was given. If this therapy did not promote ductal closure and the infant continued to receive mechanical ventilation, surgical ligation of the ductus was performed

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, need for surgical ligation, rate of re-opening of the ductus, oliguria, increase in serum creatinine level > 16 mg/dL, change in creatinine concentrations, IVH grades I-II and grades III-IV, PVL, NEC, bowel perforation, sepsis, duration of intubation, survival at 1 month and duration of hospital stay

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Infants were randomly assigned to a treatment group by means of cards in sealed, opaque envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Healthcare providers were not blinded to treatment groups. Physicians performing ECHO and making the decision for second- and third-dose administration were unaware of assignment

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcomes reported for all enrolled infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Low risk

The protocol was available to us. Trial number: NCT00642330. There did not seem to be any definitive deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Chotigeat 2003

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in Bangkok, Thailand

Study period: 1 January 2001 to 31 May 2002

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

30 preterm infants (GA ≤ 35 weeks, postnatal age ≤ 10 days) with an ECHO-confirmed PDA

Ibuprofen: 15 infants, mean (SD) GA 30.8 (2.3) weeks; BW 1412 (354) g

Indomethacin: 15 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.9 (2.9) weeks; BW 1434 (421) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: orally as a 3-day treatment course every 24 hours

Indomethacin: iv at 12-hour intervals

The doses of ibuprofen and indomethacin were not stated

Outcomes

PDA closure, need for surgical ligation, NEC

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

The infants were assigned to treatment group by random number

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Ibuprofen was given orally and indomethacin was given iv

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Outcomes reported on all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us and we could not ascertain whether there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Dani 2012

Methods

Multicentre, randomised, controlled trial
Blinding of randomisation - yes
Blinding of intervention - no
Complete follow-up - yes
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

70 infants with PMA < 29 weeks, ECHO evidence of significant PDA, aged 12-24 hours and RDS necessitating respiratory support

Interventions

High-dose ibuprofen: 35 infants, mean (SD) PMA 25.6 (1.8) weeks; BW 781 (225) g) randomised to high-dose ibuprofen 20-10-10 mg/kg/day

Standard-dose ibuprofen: 35 infants, mean (SD) PMA 26.0 (1.7) weeks; BW 835 (215) g) randomised to standard-dose iv ibuprofen 10-5-5 mg/kg/day

Outcomes

Ductal closure, serum creatinine on day 3 of treatment, oliguria (≤ 1 mL/kg/hour during a 24-hour collection period), peak total serum bilirubin during the first week of life, IVH (all grades and grades III-IV), PVL (all grades), ROP (all stages, stage > 2), NEC, BPD (oxygen requirement at 36 weeks' PMA), sepsis, mortality and hospital stay (days)

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Sealed opaque envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

ECHO studies were performed by physicians, who were blinded as to the infants' treatment assignments. It was not stated if clinical outcomes other than the PDA status were assessed blinded to assigned group

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcomes reported for all enrolled infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Low risk

The trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT01243996. There did not seem to have been any deviations from the published protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Erdeve 2012

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in Ankara, Turkey

Study period: January 2010 to February 2011

Blinding of randomisation - yes - sequentially numbered, sealed, opaque envelopes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - no - see note

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - a paediatric cardiologist who was blinded to the treatment group determined the success rate of the treatment and the need for a second course via the same route

Participants

80 infants with PMA ≤ 28 weeks, BW < 1000 g, postnatal age 48-96 hours and with ECHO-confirmed significant PDA

Interventions

Ibuprofen (oral): 36 infants

Ibuprofen (iv): 34 infants

Both at a dose of 10 mg/kg followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours. 4 infants in the oral group and 6 in the iv group were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course

Outcomes

Primary outcome: PDA closure rate

Secondary outcomes: included mortality, need for re-treatment or surgical treatment of the PDA, duration of ventilation, duration of hospital stay, increase in serum bilirubin level after treatment, plasma creatinine after the first course of treatment, rate of ductal re-opening, pneumothorax, pulmonary haemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA), IVH (grades I-IV), NEC, ROP and ROP requiring laser treatment

Notes

4 infants in the oral group and 6 in the iv group were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course. They were not included in an ITT analysis for the outcome of mortality. We did include these deaths in our analysis of mortality

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Sequentially numbered, sealed, opaque envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Ibuprofen was administered either orally or iv, which would have been known to the carers. A paediatric cardiologist was blinded to the treatment group to determine the success of the treatment and the need for a second course via the same route

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) High risk

4 infants in the oral group and 6 in the iv group were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course. They were not included in an ITT analysis for the outcome of mortality. We did include these deaths in our analysis of mortality

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Low risk

Study protocol was available to us. Trial registration # NCT01261117. There did not seem to have been any deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Fakhraee 2007

Methods

Single-centre randomised controlled trial in Tehran, Iran

Study period: June 2003 to June 2004

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - could not determine

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Participants

36 preterm infants PMA < 34 weeks, aged ≤ 14 days, platelet count > 100,000/μL, serum creatinine ≤ 1.6 mg/dL, absence of clinical manifestations of abnormal clotting function, absence of grades III-IV IVH. Colour Doppler ECHO evidence of significant PDA

Ibuprofen: 18 infants, mean (SD) PMA 31.5 (1.4) weeks; BW 1658 (387) g

Indomethacin: 18 infants, mean (SD) PMA 30.9 (2.0) weeks; BW 1522 (358) g

Study period: June 2003 to June 2004

Interventions

Ibuprofen: orally as a suspension at a first dose of 10 mg/kg, followed at an interval of 24 hours by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg

Indomethacin: orally 3 times at 0.2 mg/kg/dose at intervals of 24 hours

Outcomes

Ductal closure, need for re-treatment, re-opening of the duct, mortality during the first 30 days of life, maximum serum BUN and creatinine levels, NEC, IVH (grades III-IV), oliguria

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No description provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine
No description provided. "The enrolled patients randomly received either oral ibuprofen or oral indomethacin"

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of intervention - could not determine
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine
No description provided

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes were reported for all enrolled infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The protocol was not available to us, so we could not judge if there were any deviations

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Fesharaki 2012

Methods

Randomised controlled clinical trial in NICU of Vali-ye-Asr Hospital, Tehran, Iran

Participants

60 infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA

Interventions

Oral loading dose ibuprofen: 10 mg/kg on first day, followed by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg in the next 2 days

Oral loading dose ibuprofen: 15 mg/kg on first day followed by 2 doses of 7.5 mg/kg in next 2 days

Outcomes

PDA closure rates, high BUN and creatinine (levels not provided), urine output < 0.5 mL/kg after onset of treatment and gastrointestinal bleed

Notes

30 (100%) infants in 15-mg/kg group and 23 (76.7%) infants in 10 mg/kg group had successful PDA closure with no need for surgery (P value = 0.011)

Dr. Fatemeh Nayeri (corresponding author) has kindly provided us with an English translation of the article in January 2013. We are still awaiting some clarifications regarding the trial. In email dated 24 May 2014, we asked for clarification regarding how the randomisation sequence was generated and how the infants were allocated to 1 of the 2 groups. We asked if it was possible for the investigators and the clinicians to determine the difference between the 2 dosing regimens? As of 17 August 2014, we have not received a response

Article in Persian

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided. "...divided in half by randomisation"

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcome data provided for all 60 randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The protocol was not available to us, so we could not judge if there were any deviations

Other bias Unclear risk

Appeared free of other bias

Gimeno Navarro 2005

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in Valencia, Spain

Study period: January 2003 to July 2004

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed envelopes)

Blinding of intervention - could not determine

Complete follow-up - yes

Participants

47 ventilated, preterm infants (< 34 weeks' GA) with a haemodynamically significant PDA, confirmed by ECHO in the first week of life and who required respiratory support

Ibuprofen: median (25th and 75th centiles) GA 28 (24, 31) weeks; mean (SD) BW 1.169 (490) g

Indomethacin: median (25th and 75th centiles) GA 28.5 (27, 30) weeks; mean (SD) BW 1.206 (513) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 23 infants, ibuprofen 10 mg/kg iv, followed by 2 doses of ibuprofen iv every 24 hours

Indomethacin: 24 infants indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg/dose iv every 12 hours for a total of 3 doses

Outcomes

Primary outcome: pharmacological ductal closure

Other outcomes: included mortality, ductal re-opening, need for surgical ligation, NEC, isolated bowel perforation, intestinal haemorrhage, pulmonary haemorrhage, CLD (supplemental oxygen at 28 days), IVH (grades III-IV), days on assisted ventilation, days in supplemental oxygen, days in NICU

Notes

Study published in Spanish. For the 2014 update of this review, we used Google Translate for Business (Translator Toolkit Website Translator Global Market Finder)

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Computer-generated randomisation sequence

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed envelopes)

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Indomethacin and ibuprofen were given at different times and thus the healthcare providers would have known to which group the infants belonged

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported on all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The protocol was not available to us, so we could not judge if there were any deviations

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Gokmen 2011

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted at Zekai Tahir Burak Maternity Teaching Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Study period: January 2010 to February 2011

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

108 VLBW infants with PDA

Interventions

Ibuprofen (iv): 54 infants, iv ibuprofen at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours

Ibuprofen (oral: 54 infants, oral ibuprofen at an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours

6 infants (4 in the iv group and 2 in the oral group) died before they completed the treatment and were excluded from the analyses

Outcomes

Renal tolerance, mean plasma creatinine after treatment, urine output after treatment, cystatin-C levels, failure to close a PDA, need for second course of ibuprofen, oliguria, hospital stay, NEC, gastrointestinal bleed, sepsis, pneumothorax, BPD (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA or at discharge, which ever came first, ROP requiring laser treatment and mortality during hospital stay

Notes

In 2013, a follow-up study of this trial was published. 57 children (56%) of the original 102 infants enrolled in this study were followed to an age of 18-24 months corrected age; 30 infants in the oral ibuprofen group and 27 infants in the iv ibuprofen group were assessed for long-term outcomes. The following outcomes were reported; Mental (MDI) and Psychomotor (PDI) Developmental Index on Bayley Scales of Infant Development II, moderate/severe cerebral palsy with functional deficits that required rehabilitation services, bilateral hearing loss (requiring amplification, blindness in either eye, MDI < 70 and PDI < 70

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Infants were assigned randomly using cards in opaque envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Ibuprofen was given either orally or iv and this would have been known to the staff

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

6 infants (4 in the iv ibuprofen group and 2 in the oral group) died before they completed their treatment. These infants were not included in an ITT analysis. We included them

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The protocol for this study was not available to us and we could not ascertain whether there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Hammerman 2008

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial, conducted in Jerusalem, Israel

Study period: February 2002 to December 2006

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

64 preterm (PMA ≤ 33 weeks, BW ≤ 1750 g) infants with PDA

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 32 infants, ibuprofen 10 mg/kg iv followed by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals

Indomethacin: 31 infants, continuous iv infusion of indomethacin for 36 hours at a rate of 17 μg/kg/hour

Outcomes

Ductal closure, need for surgical ligation, need for re-treatment with either indomethacin or ibuprofen, need for surgical treatment, mortality, BPD (age not stated), IVH (grades III-IV), ROP and NEC

Notes

The outcomes of BPD (age not stated), NEC, IVH (III-IV) and ROP (3-4) were reported in graphic form only and the numbers had to be estimated from the graph

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Randomisation was based on computer-generated random numbers without sub-stratification

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Because the methods of drug administration were clearly different, the study could not be blinded. The cardiologist performing the ECHO was blinded to the study group

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
1 infant assigned to the ibuprofen group was withdrawn by his parents before he started therapy, and he was not included in the analyses

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Low risk

The protocol was available to us. Trial registration # NCT00485160. There were no deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Lago 2002

Methods

2-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in Padova and Treviso, Italy

Study period: January 1998 to December 2000

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

175 preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA were enrolled

Ibuprofen: 94 infants, mean (SD) GA 28 (2) weeks; BW 1126 (412) g; 52 boys, 42 girls

Indomethacin: 81 infants, mean (SD) GA 29 (3) weeks; BW 1214 (427) g; 43 boys, 38 girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg each at 24 and 48 hours

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg for 3 doses at 12-hour intervals

Outcomes

PDA closure, serum creatinine and oliguria

Notes

An interim report with 153 infants enrolled (ibuprofen group 82 infants and indomethacin group 71 infants) has been published (Lago 2001). Zanardo 2005 represents a sub-population of this study and examined the effect of ibuprofen and indomethacin on urinary antidiuretic hormone excretion

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No description provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Cards in sealed envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The authors did not comment on the imbalance in the numbers enrolled in the ibuprofen group (94 infants) vs. the indomethacin group (81 infants)

The protocol was not available to us, so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Lago 2014

Methods

Single-centre double-blind randomised controlled trial conducted at the NICU of the Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy

Study period: February 2008 to June 2010

Participants

112 preterm infants < 32 weeks' PMA with haemodynamically significant PDA on ECHO. Informed consent was withdrawn from 1 infant in the continuous ibuprofen group

Interventions

Ibuprofen (standard treatment): 56 infants, bolus of iv ibuprofen of 10, 5 and 5 mg administered over 15 minutes, 24 hours apart

Ibuprofen (infusion): 55 infants, continuous infusion of ibuprofen of 10, 5 and 5 mg given over 24 hours, and boluses of equal volumes of 5% dextrose administered over 15 minutes, 24 hours apart

Outcomes

PDA closure rate after 2 standard-dose ibuprofen courses, PDA closure after first ibuprofen course, re-opening of PDA, need for surgical ligation, oliguria (urine output ≤ 1 mL/kg/hour, creatinine after treatment, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, intestinal perforation during ibuprofen treatment, NEC during ibuprofen treatment, BPD (at 36 weeks' PMA), ROP (all stages and stage ≥ 3, IVH (all grades and grades III-IV), cystic PVL, NEC, isolated bowel perforation, mortality and duration of hospital stay

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Computer generated

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Eligible infants were randomised by the hospital pharmacist to receive in a 1 : 1 ratio either standard treatment (bolus) or continuous infusion of ibuprofen Throughout the study, the hospital pharmacist kept the randomisation list inaccessible to the clinical investigators and NICU personnel

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

Clinical investigators and NICU personnel were blinded to the treatments

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcome data were presented for all randomised infants, except for 1 infant in the continuous ibuprofen group, for whom the parents withdrew informed consent

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

The protocol for this study was not available to us and we could not ascertain whether there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Lin 2012

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial at the Maternal and Child health Hospital of Xiamen City, Xiamen, Fujian, China

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - could not determine

Complete follow-up - could not determine

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Participants

64 symptomatic VLBW infants with a PDA confirmed by bedside colour Doppler ultrasound were enrolled within 24 hours after birth

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 32 infants, oral ibuprofen within 24 hours after birth at 10 mg/kg, followed 24 hours later by a second dose of 5 mg/kg and 48 hours later by a third dose of 5 mg/kg

Placebo: 32 infants, placebo (normal saline) at 1 mL/kg, followed 24 hours later by a second dose of 0.5 mL/kg and 48 hours later by a third dose of 0.5 mL/kg

Outcomes

PDA closure, PVL, BPD, duration of ventilator support, duration of hospital stay, IVH, pulmonary haemorrhage, NEC, adverse effects

From the abstract, we were only able to calculate the rates for PDA closure in the 2 groups. P values were provided for some of the other outcomes, and we have quoted them in the results section

Notes

This study was published in Chinese and we could only understand the abstract, which was published in English

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided in the abstract

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Infants were randomly divided into 2 groups

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

It is possible that the study was blinded as a placebo was used in the control group

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Unclear risk

We could not judge from the abstract

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

We could not judge from the abstract

Other bias Unclear risk

We could not judge from the abstract

Mosca 1997

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in Milan, Italy

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

16 infants receiving mechanical ventilation (< 31 weeks' GA) with ECHO evidence of PDA were randomised

Ibuprofen: 8 neonates, median and range GA 29 (27-31) weeks, BW 855 (620-1620) , postnatal age 24 (10-53) hours , 4 boys, 4 girls

Indomethacin: 8 neonates, median and range GA 28 (25-300) weeks, BW 820 (600-1390) g, postnatal age 29 (5-120) hours, 5 boys, 3 girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg infused over 1 minute as a first dose and a second and third dose administered at 24-hour intervals provided that no significant adverse effect was observed

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg infused over 1 minute and a second and third dose of 0.1 mg/kg were administered at 24-hour intervals provided no significant adverse effects were observed

Outcomes

PDA closure, cerebral blood flow velocity, near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure changes in cerebral blood volume and in oxidised cytochrome oxidase concentration

Notes

The results of this study were reported in abstract form with the same number of infants enrolled (Mosca 1996). Whether there is any overlap with an additional study is unclear (Mosca 1997a)

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Clinicians were aware of group assignment

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Outcomes reported on all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Patel 1995

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial without the use of a placebo in the UK

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

33 infants with a median GA of 26 weeks (range 23 to 28) were enrolled. All infants had ECHO-confirmed PDA

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 12 infants, ibuprofen 5 mg/kg

Ibuprofen: 6 infants, ibuprofen 10 mg/kg

Indomethacin: 15 infants, indomethacin 0.1 mg/kg

The drugs were infused iv over 15 minutes

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, near infrared spectroscopy was used to observe the effect of treatment on cerebral perfusion, indicated by changes in cerebral blood volume, and cerebral mitochondrial oxygenation, determined by the change in concentration of oxidised cytochrome aa3

Notes

Published as a letter to the editor

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine
No information provided

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no. Randomised, controlled trial without the use of a placebo

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Patel 2000

Methods

4-centre, randomised controlled trial in 4 NICUs (Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's, St George's and St Mary's Hospitals, London, UK)

Study period: January 1966 to December 1996

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

33 preterm infants with a haemodynamically significant PDA diagnosed clinically and on ECHO criteria

Ibuprofen: 18 infants, median (range) GA 26.0 (23.9-35.00) weeks; BW 790 (620-2780) g; postnatal age 8 (3-20) days; 9 boys, 9 girls

Indomethacin: 15 infants, median (range) GA 26.7 (23.2-30.0) weeks; BW 838 (458-1377) g; postnatal age 7 (3-21) days; 7 boys, 8 girls.

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 10 mg/kg iv as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg at 24 and 48 hours after the initial dose

Indomethacin: 0.2 mg/kg as initial dose. 2 further doses were administered after 12 and 24 hours: infants aged 2-7 days at the time of the first dose received 0.2 mg/kg and infants ≥ 8 days received 0.25 mg/kg

To prevent identification of the drug administered from the timing schedule, all infants received a fourth dose containing 0.9% saline: in the indomethacin group, 48 hours after the first dose and, in the ibuprofen group, 12 hours after the first dose

iv infusions of all drugs were performed over 15 minutes using an infusion pump

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure changes in cerebral blood volume, cerebral blood flow and cerebral oxygen delivery

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes

The Pharmacy Department at Queen Charlotte's Hospital performed randomisation in block of 12 for each hospital and provided all trial medication. All other personnel were blinded to the identity of the drug administered

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

Blinding of intervention - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

See allocation concealment

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Pezzati 1999

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in Firenze, Italy

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - could not determine

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Participants

17 preterm infants (< 33 weeks' GA)

Ibuprofen: 9 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.1 (2.2) weeks; BW 1151 (426) g

Indomethacin: 8 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.5 (2.6) weeks; BW 1277 (440) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 10 mg/kg given as a continuous infusion over 15 minutes

Indomethacin: 0.2 mg/kg as a continuous infusion over 15 minutes

Regardless of ductal closure after the first dose, all infants received a second and third dose of indomethacin (0.1 mg/kg) or ibuprofen (5 mg/kg) at 24-hour intervals

Outcomes

Primary outcome: mesenteric and renal blood flow velocity

Secondary outcomes: included ductal closure, ductal re-opening and NEC

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine
Infants were randomly assigned - no further information provided

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of intervention - could not determine
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported on all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Pistulli 2014

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in the NICU of the University Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Koço Gliozheni, Tirana, Albania

Study period: January 2010 to December 2012

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no. Physicians and nurses were aware of the nature of the study, although the cardiologist who supervised the ECHO studies was blinded as with regard to the status of the infants, and whether they were treated with oral or iv ibuprofen

Complete follow-up - no - 12 infants were excluded for different reasons

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine (stated to be single-blinded)

Participants

80 preterm infants with a PMA 28-32 weeks, BW ≤ 2000 g, postnatal age 48-96 hours, RDS treated with mechanical ventilation with additional oxygen requirements above 30% and PDA documented by ECHO

Ibuprofen (oral): 44 infants randomised, 7 infants were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course and 1 infant was excluded because of pulmonary haemorrhage (total 8 infants). Outcomes reported for 36 infants

Ibuprofen (IV): 36 infants randomised, 3 infants were excluded because of gastrointestinal bleed and 1 infant was excluded because only 2 doses of ibuprofen were administered (total 4 infants). Outcomes reported for 32 infants

Interventions

Ibuprofen (oral): 10 mg/kg given via an oro-gastric tube, flushed with 1 mL of sterile water

Ibuprofen (iv): 10 mg/kg given via iv route infused over a 15-minute period with a syringe pump, and the line was subsequently flushed with saline

ECHO was performed again 24 hours after each ibuprofen dose. When the PDA was still haemodynamically significant, as demonstrated by ECHO, and there was no evidence of deterioration in brain ultrasonography, a second dose of ibuprofen 5 mg/kg was administered. A third equivalent dose was given after another 24 hours if deemed necessary

Outcomes

Failure to close a PDA (after single or 3 doses), need for surgical ligation, oliguria and mean plasma creatinine on day 3 of treatment

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Physicians and nurses were aware of the nature of the study, although the cardiologist who supervised the ECHO studies was blinded with regard to the status of the infants, and whether they were treated with oral or iv ibuprofen

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) High risk

In the oral ibuprofen group, 7 infants were excluded because of mortality before complete treatment course and 1 infant was excluded because of pulmonary haemorrhage. Outcomes reported for 36 infants in the oral ibuprofen group. In the iv ibuprofen group, 3 infants were excluded because of gastrointestinal bleed and 1 infant was excluded because only 2 doses of ibuprofen were administered. Outcomes reported for 32 infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Unclear risk

Appeared free of other bias

Plavka 2001

Methods

3-centre, randomised controlled trial in 3 NICUs in the Czech Republic

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - could not determine

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Participants

41 preterm infants with clinical and ECHO signs of PDA were randomised

Ibuprofen: 21 infants, mean (SD) GA 27.6 (2.3) weeks; BW 929 (213) g

Indomethacin: 20 infants, mean (SD) GA 26.9 (1.7) weeks; BW 902 (211) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 8 mg/kg every 24 hours for 3 doses

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg every 24 hours for 3 doses

If PDA persisted, treatment was repeated at half dose every 24 hours for 6 doses. Persistent PDA was ligated

Outcomes

Cerebral blood flow velocities, blood pressure, serum creatinine, mortality and ductal re-opening

Notes

Published in abstract form only

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of intervention - could not determine
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - could not determine

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Unclear risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Pourarian 2008

Methods

1-centre, randomised controlled trial, conducted in Shiraz, Republic of Iran

Study period: 6-month period in 2001

Blinding of randomisation - no

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

20 preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA

Ibuprofen: 10 infants, mean (SD) PMA 31.3 (4.4) weeks; BW 1860 (402) g

Indomethacin: 10 infants, mean (SD) PMA 33.2 (3.1) weeks; BW 1720 (630) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: oral suspension containing 100 mg/5 mL was given as an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 2 further doses of 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals

Indomethacin: powder content of an indomethacin 25 mg capsule was freshly prepared by dissolving in 25 mL distilled water. This was given orally as 0.2 mg/kg for 3 doses at 24-hour intervals

Administration of the second or third doses of each drug was dependent on achievement of ductal closure after the initial doses

Outcomes

Primary outcome: ductal closure

Secondary outcomes: included need for surgical closure, NEC, change in mean serum creatinine levels before and after treatment, increase in BUN level > 14 µmol/L and thrombocytopenia < 50,000 mm3

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No mention of how the randomisation sequence was generated

Allocation concealment (selection bias) High risk

Blinding of randomisation - no

"As soon as the diagnosis (of PDA) was made for the 1st eligible baby, he/she was enrolled to the ibuprofen group and then the next eligible baby was assigned to the indomethacin group, and so on". This statement clearly indicated that the infants were not allocated to the 2 groups in a concealed manner

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
The researchers were aware of group assignment - see allocation concealment

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Results for all randomised infants are reported

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Study appeared free of other bias

Salama 2008

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in Doha, State of Qatar

Study period: January 2005 to March 2007

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

41 preterm infants (PMA, 34 weeks, BW < 2500 g) diagnosed with haemodynamically significant PDA confirmed by ECHO

Ibuprofen: 21 infants, mean (SD) PMA 27.7 (2.5); BW 1094 (480) g

Indomethacin: 20 infants, mean (SD) PMA 27.8 (2.8) weeks; BW 1050 (440) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: oral 10 mg/kg on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg for 2 more days. Ibuprofen was mixed with 0.5 mL of milk before its administration via an oro-gastric tube

Indomethacin: iv 3 doses of 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours

Outcomes

Primary outcome: complete closure of the PDA

Secondary outcomes: included need for surgical ligation, bowel perforation and mortality

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Randomisation was conducted according to a pre-designed simple block randomisation table 'A' for indomethacin and 'B' for ibuprofen (AABABBBBAA, BBBAAABBA, AABBABABAAB, etc.

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine
No description of possible concealment

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Indomethacin was given iv and ibuprofen was given via an oro-gastric tube
Paediatric cardiologist was aware of the infant's group allocation

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported on all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Sosenko 2012

Methods

Single-centre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial conducted in Miami, Florida, US

Study period January 2008 to August 2010

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

Infants born with BW 500-1250 g and PMA 23-32 weeks, who were > 24 hours old but ≤ 14 days old and who had ECHO for subtle PDA symptoms (metabolic acidosis, murmur, bounding pulses)

Interventions

'Early' treatment: 54 infants, blinded ibuprofen

'Expectant' management: 51 infants, blinded placebo

If the PDA became haemodynamically significant (pulmonary haemorrhage, hypotension, respiratory deterioration), infants received open-label ibuprofen. Infants with haemodynamically significant PDA at enrolment were excluded from the study

The dosing schedule for ibuprofen was an initial dose of 10 mg/kg, followed by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg each, every 24 hours, by slow iv infusion; dosing of placebo involved equivalent volumes of dextrose by slow iv infusion on the same schedule

Outcomes

Days on supplemental oxygen during the first 28 days of life, mortality during hospital stay, supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' PMA, intestinal perforation, NEC requiring surgery, IVH (grades III-IV), PVL, sepsis and ROP (stage ≥ 3)

Notes

After 105 of 168 infants were enrolled, the study drug (NeoProfen) was recalled by the manufacturer and was no longer available in the US

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Random number table

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Sealed envelopes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

Clinicians, investigators and nursing staff were blinded to the study group to which the infant was assigned and the medication the infant was receiving. Only the neonatal pharmacists were aware of the study group of each infant and were responsible for preparing the 'blinded' ibuprofen or 'blinded' placebo study drug

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcomes reported for all enrolled infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Low risk

This study was registered, # NCT00802685, and there did not seem to be any deviations from the protocol, except that the study had to be stopped when the study drug was no longer available

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Su 2003

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in Taichung, Taiwan

Study period: January 2001 to December 2002

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

63 preterm infants with GA ≤ 32 weeks and BW ≤ 1500 g and with ECHO evidence of a PDA were randomised between 2 and 7 days of age

Ibuprofen: 32 infants, mean (SD) GA 28.7 (2.2) weeks; BW 1134 (200) g

Indomethacin: 31 infants, mean (SD) GA 28.2 (2.4) weeks; BW 1110 (244) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg initially, followed by 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 hours

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for 3 doses

Outcomes

Rate of PDA closure, rate of re-opening of the duct, mortality, gastric bleeding, IVH, PVL, NEC, BPD at 36 weeks' GA, duration of mechanical ventilation, time to full oral feeds and length of hospital stay

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Unclear risk

Blinding of randomisation - could not determine

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen and indomethacin was given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all infants randomised

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Su 2008

Methods

Single-centre, randomised controlled trial conducted in Taichung, Taiwan

Study period: February 2004 to October 2006

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - yes

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

Participants

119 infants with ECHO evidence of a significant PDA

Ibuprofen: 60 infants, median (range) PMA 25 (23-28) weeks; BW 825 (550-990) g

Indomethacin: 59 infants, median (range) PMA 25 (23-28) weeks; BW 762 (540-980) g

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg initially followed by 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg as the initial dose and then 0.1 mg/kg in infants < 48 hours old, 0.2 mg/kg in infants > 48 hours at 24-hour intervals as indicated by PDA flow pattern

Outcomes

Primary outcome: PDA closure

Secondary outcomes: included need for surgical ligation, mortality within 30 days, NEC, CLD at 36 weeks' GA, IVH, PVL, ROP, BPD at 36 weeks' PMA, oliguria, post-treatment serum creatinine, hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, days to full enteral feeds and gastric bleeding

Notes

Study included a sample size calculation

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

According to a random number table sequence, which had been prepared by a study assistant who was not involved in the care of infants

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) Low risk

Blinding of intervention - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - yes

The medication was infused iv continuously over 15 minutes. The drug was prepared and dispensed through the hospital pharmacy department and the attending doctors were unaware of the drug used

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Unclear risk

Appeared free of other bias

Supapannachart 2002

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in Bangkok, Thailand

Study period: 1 April 2000 to 31 August 2001

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed envelope)

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

18 preterm infants (< 34 weeks' GA) with symptomatic PDA

Ibuprofen: 9 infants, mean (SD) GA 30.1 (2.7); BW 1447 (39) g; 8 boys, 1 girl

Indomethacin: 9 infants, mean (SD) GA 30.4 (2.6); BW 1432 (531); 6 boys, 3 girls

Interventions

Ibuprofen: orally 10 mg/kg/dose for 3 doses at 24-hour intervals

Indomethacin: oral or iv 0.2 mg/kg/dose for 3 doses given at 12-hour intervals

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, duration of ventilatory support, CLD (age not stated), IVH (grade not stated), NEC and mortality

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed envelope)

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all infants randomised

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Van Overmeire 1997

Methods

Single-centre, randomised, controlled trial conducted in Antwerp, Belgium

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

40 preterm infants (GA 33 weeks) were randomised

Ibuprofen: 20 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.0 (2.4) weeks; BW 1270 (450) g; surfactant use 15

Indomethacin: 20 infants, mean (SD) GA 28.7 (1.9) weeks; BW 1210 (360) g, surfactant use 19

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg as the initial dose followed by 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours for 3 doses

Both drugs were infused over 15 minutes

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, PDA ligation rate, mortality, sepsis, NEC, age to regain BW and ROP

Notes

It is possible that there was overlap between this study and a report in abstract form with 28 infants enrolled (Van Overmeire 1996)

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed envelopes)

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different time intervals

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all infants randomised

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Van Overmeire 2000

Methods

Multicentre, randomised, controlled trial without the use of a placebo conducted in 5 NICUs in Belgium (2 hospitals in Antwerp, 1 hospital each in Ghent, Bruges and Rocourt)

Study period: not stated

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

148 infants with PMA 24-32 weeks, who had RDS and ECHO-confirmed PDA were randomised

Ibuprofen: 74 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.0 (2.3) weeks; BW 1230 (390) g; surfactant treatment 56

Indomethacin: 74 infants, mean (SD) GA 29.0 (2.1) weeks; BW 1230 (380) g; surfactant treatment 63

Interventions

Ibuprofen: iv 10 mg/kg as the initial dose, followed at 24-hour intervals by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg

Indomethacin: iv 0.2 mg/kg every 12 hours

Outcomes

PDA closure rate, oliguria, PDA ligation rate, mortality by 30 days, NEC, localised bowel perforation, sepsis, PVL, CLD at 28 days, time to regain BW, time to full enteral feeding

Notes

We believe this study has been reported in abstract form when 103 preterm infants were enrolled (Van Overmeire 1998), but we have not been able to verify this with the authors

Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Unclear risk

No information provided

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Blinding of randomisation - yes (sealed opaque envelopes)

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

Blinding of intervention - no
Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no
Ibuprofen and indomethacin were given at different times

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Complete follow-up - yes
Outcomes reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Yadav 2014

Methods

Study was conducted in 2 tertiary care institutions in New Delhi, northern India

Study period: March 2010 to May 2012

Blinding of randomisation - yes

Blinding of intervention - no

Complete follow-up - yes

Blinding of outcome measurement(s) - no

Participants

83 preterm infants < 37 weeks' PMA, BW < 2500 g with haemodynamically significant PDA confirmed by ECHO

Interventions

Ibuprofen: 48 infants, 3 doses of oral ibuprofen suspension 10, 5, 5 mg/kg every 24 hours. The drug was given via the oro-gastric route, followed by 0.5 mL of distilled water

Indomethacin: 35 infants, 3 doses indomethacin 0.20-0.25 mg/kg every 24 hours depending on the GA (initial dose was 0.2 mg/kg, subsequent doses 2-7 days of age were 0.2 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for 2 doses, 7 days of age 0.25 mg/kg/dose every 24 hours for 2 doses)

Outcomes

Failure to close a PDA, surgical ligation, oliguria, NEC, IVH, gastrointestinal bleed, mortality, hospital stay, serum creatinine and PPHN

Notes  
Risk of bias table
Bias Authors' judgement Support for judgement
Random sequence generation (selection bias) Low risk

Computer-generated random numbers

Allocation concealment (selection bias) Low risk

Randomisation was carried out by investigators not involved in the study. Sequentially numbered opaque sealed envelopes containing the code for intervention

Blinding (performance bias and detection bias) High risk

"The major limitation of our study was that the clinician was not blinded to the drug administered". The envelopes were exclusively accessed by the principal investigator

Incomplete outcome data (attrition bias) Low risk

Outcomes reported for all randomised infants

Selective reporting (reporting bias) Unclear risk

Study protocol was not available to us so we could not ascertain if there were deviations from the protocol

Other bias Low risk

Appeared free of other bias

Footnotes

BPD: bronchopulmonary dysplasia; BUN: blood urea nitrogen; BW: birth weight; CLD: chronic lung disease; C/S: caesarean section; ECHO: echocardiographically/echocardiography; GA: gestational age; ITT: intention-to-treat; iv: intravenous; IVH: intraventricular haemorrhage; NEC: necrotising enterocolitis; NICU: neonatal intensive care unit; PDA: patent ductus arteriosus; PMA: postmenstrual age; PPHN: persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn; PVL: periventricular leukomalacia; RDS: respiratory distress syndrome; ROP: retinopathy of prematurity; SD: standard deviation; VLBW: very low birth weight (< 1500 g).

Characteristics of excluded studies

Amoozgar 2010

Reason for exclusion

A randomised controlled study of ibuprofen in term neonates

Cherif 2007

Reason for exclusion

Evaluated the use of oral ibuprofen for closure of PDA, but did not include a control group

Desfrere 2005

Reason for exclusion

A dose-finding study

Footnotes

PDA: patent ductus arteriosus.

Characteristics of studies awaiting classification

Ding 2014

Methods

Randomized controlled trial

Participants

Preterm infants witha a PDA

Interventions

Oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, followed by 5 mg/kg after 24 and 48 h, and the placebo group received the same volume of 5% glucose.

Outcomes

PDA closure at 7 days after treatment

Notes  

Characteristics of ongoing studies

NCT01149564

Study name

Comparison of Oral and Intravenous Ibuprofen for PDA Treatment in Premature Infants

Methods

Double-blind, randomised controlled trial

Participants

70 extremely preterm infants with ECHO-confirmed PDA

Interventions

Oral or iv ibuprofen 10 mg/kg (1 mL) and then 5 mg/kg at 24-hour intervals as indicated by ECHO PDA flow pattern

Outcomes

Primary outcome: effective and safety

Secondary outcome: complications

Starting date

December 2009

Contact information

Bai-Horng Su, M.D., Ph.D., Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, 404

Phone: 886-4-22052121 ext 2061 bais@ms49.hinet.net

Notes

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01149564

As of July 2014, this trial was still ongoing

NCT01630278

Study name

Early Ibuprofen Treatment of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Premature Infants (TRIOCAPI)

Methods

Randomised controlled trial

Participants

385 very premature (PMA ≤ 28 weeks) infants with a large ductus, selected by an early ECHO

Interventions

Ibuprofen or placebo before 12 hours of life. Follow-up will include repeated ECHO and cranial ultrasound at 36 hours, 14 days and 36 weeks of postconceptional age

Outcomes

Primary outcome: 2-year survival without cerebral palsy

Secondary outcomes: ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) score at 2 years; incidence of other prematurity-related morbidities (pulmonary, digestive, neurological, renal)
To compare the outcome between the large and the small ductus groups and outcomes according to the McNamara stage at surgical ligation

Starting date

March 2012

Contact information

Prof. Véronique Gournay, Nantes University Hospital

Phone +33 2 40 08 77 84; veronique.gournay@chu-nantes.fr

Notes

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01630278

As of July 2014, this trial was still ongoing

NCT01758913

Study name

Closure of Patent Ductus Arteriosus with Indomethacin or Ibuprofen in Extreme Low Birth Weight Infants

Methods

Randomised controlled trial

Participants

Selection criteria: preterm infants with birth weight < 1000 g, radiographic diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome, requirement of mechanical ventilation, and ECHO and clinical evidence of significant PDA

Interventions

Indomethacin: 56 infants, indomethacin 0.2 mg/kg, 0.1 mg/kg and 0.1 mg/kg in 24-hour interval

Ibuprofen: 54 infants, ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, 5 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg in 24-hour interval

Outcomes

Serum electrolytes, creatinine, renal function (urine output, glomerular filtration rate, fractional excretion of sodium and potassium, osmolar clearance and free water clearance, urinary prostaglandin excretion, pulmonary outcome and mortality

Starting date

February 2007

Contact information

Tsu-Fu Yeh, M.D., Ph.D., Taipei Medical University

Notes

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01758913

As of July 2014, this trial was still ongoing

NCT02128191

Study name

No Treatment Versus Ibuprofen Treatment for Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Preterm Infants

Methods

Randomised controlled trial

Participants

Infants with a gestational age of ≤ 30 weeks or birth weight of ≤ 1250 g confirmed to have haemodynamically significant PDA during day of life 7-14

Interventions

Ibuprofen: initial dose of oral ibuprofen 10 mg/kg, followed by 2 doses of 5 mg/kg 24 and 48 hours later

Saline: normal saline followed by second and third dose 24 and 48 hours later, at equal volume to ibuprofen

Outcomes

Incidence of moderate-to-severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia or mortality at 36 weeks' PMA (time frame 36 weeks' PMA)

Starting date

July 2014

Contact information

Contact: Se In Sung, M.D.; phone: 82-2-3410-1775; sein.sung@samsung.com

Notes

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02128191

As of July 2014, this trial was still ongoing

Footnotes

ECHO: echocardiographically/echocardiography; iv: intravenous; PDA: patent ductus arteriosus; PMA: postmenstrual age.

References to studies

Included studies

Adamska 2005

Adamska E, Helwich E, Rutkowska M, Zacharska E, Piotrowska A. Comparison of the efficacy of ibuprofen and indomethacin in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in prematurely born infants [Porownanie ibuprofenu i indometacyny w leczeniu przetrwalego przewodu tetniczego u noworodkow urodzonych przedwczesnie]. Medycyna Wieku Rozwojowego 2005;9(3 Pt 1):335-54. [PubMed: 16547381]

Akisu 2001

Akisu M, Ozyurek AR, Dorak C, Parlar A, Kultursay N. Enteral ibuprofen versus indomethacin in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm newborn infants [Premature bebeklerde patent duktus arteriozusun tedavisinde enteral ibuprofen ve indometazinin etkinligi ve guvenilirligi]. Cocuk Sagligi ve Hastaliklari Dergisi 2001;44:56-60.

Aly 2007

* Aly H, Lotfy W, Badrawi N, Ghawas M, Abdel-Meguid IE, Hammad TA. Oral ibuprofen and ductus arteriosus in premature infants: a randomized pilot study. American Journal of Perinatology 2007;24(5):267-70. [PubMed: 17484080]

Lotfy W, Badrawi N, Ghawas M, Ehsan E, Aly H. Oral ibuprofen solution (O) is efficacious for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in premature infants: a randomized controlled trial. In: Pedaitric Academic Societies Annual Meeting. PAS2005:1410.

Aranda 2005

Aranda JV, Clyman R, Cox B, Van Overmeire B, Wozniak P, Sosenko I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous ibuprofen L-lysine for the early closure of non-symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus within 72 hours of birth in extremely low-birth-weight infants. American Journal of Perinatology 2009;26(3):235-45.

* Aranda JV. Multicentre randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial of ibuprofen L-Lysine intravenous solution (IV Ibuprofen) in premature infants for the early treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). In: Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting. PAS2005.

Bagnoli 2013

Bagnoli F, Rossetti A, Messina G, Mori A, Casucci M, Tomasini B. Treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) using ibuprofen: renal side-effects in VLBW and ELBW newborns. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2013;26(4):423-9. [PubMed: 23057804]

Bravo 2014

Bravo MC, Cabaňas F, Riera J, Pérez-Fernández E, Quero J, Pérez-Rodriguez J, et al. Randomized controlled clinical trial of standard versus echocardiographically guided ibuprofen treatment for patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants: a pilot study. Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2014;27(9):904-9. [PubMed: 24047189]

Cherif 2008

Cherif A, Khrouf N, Jabnoun S, Mokrani C, Amara MB, Guellouze N, et al. Randomized pilot study comparing oral ibuprofen with intravenous ibuprofen in very low birth weight infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Pediatrics 2008;122(6):e1256-61. [PubMed: 19047225]

Chotigeat 2003

Chotigeat U, Jirapapa K, Layangkool T. A comparison of oral ibuprofen and intravenous indomethacin for closure of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. Journal of Medical Association of Thailand 2003;86(Suppl 3):S563-9. [PubMed: 14700149]

Dani 2012

Dani C, Vangi V, Bertini G, Pratesi S, Lori I, Favelli F, et al. High-dose ibuprofen for patent ductus arteriosus in extremely preterm infants: a randomized controlled study. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2012;91(4):590-6. [PubMed: 22089267]

Erdeve 2012

Erdeve O, Yurttutan S, Altug N, Ozdemir R, Gokmen T, Dilmen U, et al. Oral versus intravenous ibuprofen for patent ductus arteriosus closure: a randomised controlled trial in extremely low birthweight infants. Archives of Diseases in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2012;97(4):F279-83. [PubMed: 22147286]

Fakhraee 2007

Fakhraee SH, Badiee Z, Mojtahedzadeh S, Kazemian M, Kelishadi R. Comparison of oral ibuprofen and indomethacin therapy for patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. Chinese Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics 2007;9(5):399-403. [PubMed: 17937843]

Fesharaki 2012

Fesharaki HJ, Nayeri FS, Asbaq PA, Amini E, Sedagat M. Different doses of ibuprofen in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus: a randomized controlled trial. Tehran University Medical Journal 2012;70(8):488-93.

Gimeno Navarro 2005

Gimeno Navarro A, Cano Sanchez A, Fernandez Gilino C, Carrasco Moreno JI, Izquierdo Macian I, Gutierrez Laso A, et al. Ibuprofen versus indomethacin in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants [Ibuprofeno frente a indometacina en el tratamiento del conducto arterioso persistente del prematuro]. Anales de Pediatria 2005;63(3):212-8. [PubMed: 16219273]

Gokmen 2011

Eras Z, Gokmen T, Erdeve O, Ozyurt BM, Saridas B, Dilmen U. Impact of oral versus intravenous ibuprofen on neurodevelopmental outcome: a randomized controlled parallel study. American Journal of Perinatology 2013;30(10):857-62. [PubMed: 23359230]

* Gokmen T, Erdeve O, Altug N, Oguz SS, Uras N, Dilmen U. Efficacy and safety of oral verus intravenous ibuprofen in very low birth weight infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Journal of Pediatrics 2011;158(4):549-54. [PubMed: 21094951]

Hammerman 2008

Hammerman C, Shchors I, Jacobson S, Schimmel MS, Bromiker R, Kaplan M, et al. Ibuprofen versus continuous indomethacin in premature neonates with patent ductus arteriosus: is the difference in the mode of administration? Pediatric Research 2008;64(3):291-7.

Lago 2002

* Lago P, Bettiol T, Salvadori S, Pitassi I, Vianello A, Chiandetti L, et al. Safety and efficacy of ibuprofen versus indomethacin in preterm infants treated for patent ductus arteriosus: a randomised controlled trial. European Journal of Pediatrics 2002;161(4):202-7. [PubMed: 12014386]

Lago P, Salvadori S, Bettiol T, Pitassi I, Chiandetti L, Saia OS. Effects of indomethacin and ibuprofen on renal function in preterm infants treated for patent ductus arteriosus: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatric Research 2001;49:375A.

Zanardo V, Vedovato S, Lago P, Piva D, Faggian D, Chiozza L. Effects of ibuprofen and indomethacin on urinary antidiuretic hormone excretion in preterm infants treated for patent ductus arteriosus. Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy 2005;20(6):534-9. [PubMed: 16260891]

Lago 2014

Lago P, Salvadori S, Opocher F, Ricato S, Chiandetti L, Frigo AC. Continuous infusion of ibuprofen for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in very low birth weight infants. Neonatology 2014;104(1):46-54. [PubMed: 24281435]

Lin 2012

Lin XZ, Chen HQ, Zheng Z, Li YD, Lai JD, Huang LH. Therapeutic effect of early administration of oral ibuprofen in very low birth weight infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Chinese Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics 2012;14(7):502-5. [PubMed: 22809601]

Mosca 1997

Mosca F, Bray M, Lattanzio M, Fumagalli M, Colnaghi M, Castoldi F, et al. Comparison of the effects of ibuprofen and indomethacin on PDA closure and cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. Pediatric Research 1997;41:165A.

Mosca F, Bray M, Lattanzio M, Fumagalli M, Colnaghi MR, Compagnoni G. Comparison of the effects of indomethacin (INDO) and ibuprofen (IBU) on cerebral perfusion and oxygenation in preterm infants. Pediatric Research 1996;39:231A.

* Mosca F, Bray M, Lattanzio M, Fumagalli M, Tosetto C. Comparative evaluation of the effects of indomethacin and ibuprofen on cerebral perfusion and oxygenation in preterm infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Journal of Pediatrics 1997;131(4):549-54. [PubMed: 9386657]

Patel 1995

Patel J, Marks KA, Roberts I, Azzopardi D, Edwards AD. Ibuprofen treatment of patent ductus arteriosus. Lancet 1995;346(8969):255. [PubMed: 7616831]

Patel 2000

Patel J, Roberts I, Azzopardi D, Hamilton P, Edwards AD. Randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing the effects of ibuprofen with indomethacin on cerebral hemodynamics in preterm infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Pediatric Research 2000;47(1):36-42.

Pezzati 1999

Pezzati M, Bertini G, Vangi V, Biagiotti R, Cianciulli D, Rubaltelli FF. Mesenteric and renal perfusion in preterm infants with PDA: indomethacin vs ibuprofen [Abstract]. Pediatric Research 1999;45:218A.

* Pezzati M, Vangi V, Biagiotti R, Bertini G, Cianciulli D, Rubatelli FF. Effects of indomethacin and ibuprofen on mesenteric and renal blood flow in preterm infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Journal of Pediatrics 1999;135(6):733-8. [PubMed: 10586177]

Pistulli 2014

Hoxha A, Gjyzari A, Tushe E. Renal effects of ibuprofen during the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in low birth weight premature infants. In: Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation Conference. 50th ERA-EDTA Congress; 2013 May 18-21; Istanbul, Turkey. 2013.

* Pistulli E, Hamiti A, Buba S, Hoxha A, Kelmendi N, Vyshka G. The association between patent ductus arteriosus and perinatal infection in a group of low birth weight preterm infants. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 2014;24(1):42-8.

Prifti E, Enkeleda P, Rubena M, Alketa H. The impact of antenatal corticosteroids on PDA in low birth weight infants [Abstract]. Journal of Perinatal Medicine 2013;41:s1.

Qosja A, Kuneshka N, Tushe E, Teneqexhi L. Oral versus intravenous ibuprofen for patent ductus arteriosus closure [Abstract]. Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia 2012;13 (Suppl 1):15S-6S.

Plavka 2001

Plavka R, Svihovec P, Borek I, Biolek J, Kostirova M, Liska K, et al. Ibuprofen vs. indomethacin in the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in very premature neonates. Pediatric Research 2001;49:375A.

Pourarian 2008

Pourarian Sh, Pishva N, Madani A, Rastegari M. Comparison of oral ibuprofen and indomethacin on closure of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal 2008;14(2):360-5. [PubMed: 18561728]

Salama 2008

Salama H, Alsisi A, Al-Rifai H, Shaddad A, Samawal L, Habboub L, et al. A randomized controlled trial on the use of oral ibuprofen to close patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants. Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine 2008;1(3):153-8.

Sosenko 2012

Sosenko IR, Fajardo MF, Claure N, Bancalari E. Timing of patent ductus arteriosus treatment and respiratory outcome in premature infants: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pediatrics 2012;160(6):929-35. [PubMed: 22284563]

Su 2003

Su PH, Chen JY, Su CM, Huang TC, Lee HS. Comparison of ibuprofen and indomethacin therapy for patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. Pediatrics International 2003;45(6):665-70. [PubMed: 14651538]

Su 2008

Su BH, Lin HC, Chiu HY, Hsieh HY, Chen HH, Tsai YC. Comparison of ibuprofen and indomethacin for early-targeted treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in extremely premature infants: a randomised controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2008;93(2):F94-9. [PubMed: 17768157]

Supapannachart 2002

Supapannachart S, Limrungsikul A, Khowsathit P. Oral ibuprofen and indomethacin for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants: a randomized trial at Ramathibodi Hospital. Journal of Medical Association of Thailand 2002;85(Suppl 4):S1252-8. [PubMed: 12549803]

Van Overmeire 1997

* Van Overmeire B, Follens I, Hartmann S, Creten WL, Van Acker KJ. Treatment of patent ductus arteriosus with ibuprofen. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition 1997;76(3):F179-84. [PubMed: 9175948]

Van Overmeire B, Follens I, Hartmann S, Mahieu L, Van Reempts PJ. Intravenous ibuprofen (IBU) for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Pediatric Research 1996;39:250A.

Van Overmeire 2000

Pezzati M, Vangi V, Biagiotti R, Bertini G, Cianciulli D, Rubaltelli FF. Effects of indomethacin and ibuprofen on mesenteric and renal blood flow in preterm infants with patent ductus arteriosus. Journal of Pediatrics 1999;135(6):733-8. [PubMed: 10586177]

Van Overmeire B, Langhendries JP, Vanhaesebrouck P, Lecoutere D, Van de Broek H. Ibuprofen for early treatment of patent ductus arteriosus, a randomized multicentre trial. Pediatric Research 1998;43:200A.

* Van Overmeire B, Smets K, Lecoutere D, Van de Broek H, Weyler J, De Groote K, et al. A comparison of ibuprofen and indomethacin for closure of patent ductus arteriosus. New England Journal of Medicine 2000;343(10):674-81. [PubMed: 10974130]

Yadav 2014

Yadav S, Agarwal S, Maria A, Dudeja A, Dubey NK, Anand P, et al. Comparison of oral ibuprofen with oral indomethacin for PDA closure in Indian preterm neonates: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatric Cardiology 2014;35(5):824-30. [PubMed: 24435507]

Excluded studies

Amoozgar 2010

Amoozgar H, Ghodstehrani M, Pishva N. Oral ibuprofen and ductus arteriosus closure in full-term neonates: a prospective case-control study. Pediatric Cardiology 2010;31(1):40-3. [PubMed: 19841966]

Cherif 2007

Cherif A, Jabnoun S, Khrouf N. Oral ibuprofen in early curative closure of patent ductus arteriosus in very premature infants. American Journal of Perinatology 2007;24(6):339-45. [PubMed: 17564958]

Desfrere 2005

Desfrere L, Zohar S, Morville P, Brunhes A, Chevret S, Pons G, et al. Dose-finding study of ibuprofen in patent ductus arteriosus using the continual reassessment method. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy & Therpeutics 2005;30(2):121-32. [PubMed: 15811164]

Studies awaiting classification

Ding 2014

Ding Y-J, Han B, Yang B, Zhu M. NT-proBNP plays an important role in the effect of ibuprofen on preterm infants with patent ductus arteriosus. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 2014;18:2596-8.

Ongoing studies

NCT01149564

NCT01149564. Comparison of oral and intravenous ibuprofen for PDA treatment in premature infants. clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01149564 (accessed 7 May 2014).

NCT01630278

NCT01630278. Early ibuprofen treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in premature infants (TRIOCAPI). clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01630278 (accessed 7 May 2014).

NCT01758913

NCT01758913. Closure of patent ductus arteriosus with indomethacin or ibuprofen in extreme low birth weight infants. clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01758913 (accessed 7 May 2014).

NCT02128191

NCT02128191. No treatment versus ibuprofen treatment for patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants. clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02128191 (accessed 7 May 2014).

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Pellicer A, Aparicio M, Cabanas F, Valverde E, Quero J, Stiris TA. Effect of the cyclo-oxygenase blocker ibuprofen on cerebral blood volume and cerebral blood flow during normocarbia and hypercarbia in newborn piglets. Acta Pediatrica 1999;88(1):82-8. [PubMed: 10090554]

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Schmidt B, Davis P, Moddeman D, Ohlsson A, Roberts RS, Saigal S, et al. Long-term effect of indomethacin prophylaxis in extremely-low-birth-weight infants. New England Journal of Medicine 2001;344(26):1966-72. [PubMed: 11430325]

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Seyberth HW, Rascher W, Hackenthal R, Wille L. Effect of prolonged indomethacin therapy on renal function and selected vasoactive hormones in very low birth weight infants with symptomatic ductus arteriosus. Journal of Pediatrics 1983;103(6):979-84. [PubMed: 6358443]

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Stefano JL, Abbasi S, Pearlman SA, Spear ML, Esterly KL, Bhutani VK. Closure of the ductus arteriosus with indomethacin in ventilated neonates with respiratory distress syndrome: effects on pulmonary compliance and ventilation. American Review of Respiratory Disease 1991;143(2):236-9. [PubMed: 1990934]

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Uchiyama A, Nagasawa H, Yamamoto Y, Tatebayashi K, Suzuki H, Yamada K, et al. Clinical aspects of very-low-birthweight infants showing reopening of ductus arteriosus. Pediatrics International 2011;53(3):322-7. [PubMed: 20854286]

Van Overmeire 1998

Van Overmeire B, Langhendries JP, Vanhasebrouck P, Lecoutere D, Van de Broek H. Ibuprofen for early treatment of patent ductus arteriosus, a randomized multicentre trial. Pediatric Research 1998;43:200A.

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Other published versions of this review

Ohlsson 2003

Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah S. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.

Ohlsson 2005

Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah S. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.pub2.

Ohlsson 2008

Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah S. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.pub3.

Ohlsson 2010

Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah S. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.pub4.

Ohlsson 2013

Ohlsson A, Walia R, Shah S. Ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm and/or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003481. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003481.pub5.

Data and analyses

1 Intravenous ibuprofen versus placebo

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
1.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after single or 3 doses) 1 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.71 [0.51, 0.99]
1.2 Infant mortality, infants who dropped out or required rescue treatment 1 136 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.58 [0.38, 0.89]
1.3 Need for surgical ligation 1 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.89 [0.91, 3.93]
1.4 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 1 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.64, 1.55]
1.5 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) 1 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.47, 2.15]
1.6 Periventricular leukomalacia 1 130 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.11 [0.01, 2.02]
1.7 Pulmonary haemorrhage 1 136 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.25 [0.03, 2.18]
1.8 Pulmonary hypertension 1 136 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [0.19, 21.54]
1.9 Retinopathy of prematurity (any stage) 1 129 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.19 [0.88, 1.62]
1.10 Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) 1 129 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.18 [0.38, 3.68]
1.11 Retinopathy of prematurity (plus disease) 1 129 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.31 [0.31, 5.63]
1.12 Chronic lung disease (supplemental oxygen at 28 days of age) 1 130 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.09 [0.95, 1.26]
1.13 Chronic lung disease (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age (PMA)) 1 98 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.99 [0.88, 1.11]
1.14 Necrotising enterocolitis 2 264 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.84 [0.87, 3.90]
1.15 Mortality by 28 days of life 1 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) Not estimable
1.16 Oliguria (urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour) 1 134 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.28 [0.17, 0.39]
1.17 Creatinine (µmol/L) after treatment 1 134 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 29.17 [12.60, 45.74]
1.18 Blood urea nitrogen (µmol/L) 1 134 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 18.45 [12.76, 24.14]
1.19 Mortality 1 136 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.80 [0.34, 1.90]
 

2 Oral ibuprofen versus placebo

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
2.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after single or 3 doses 1 64 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.26 [0.11, 0.62]
 

3 Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
3.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) (after single or 3 doses) 21 1102 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.84, 1.20]
3.2 All-cause mortality 9 553 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.66 [0.40, 1.09]
3.3 Neonatal mortality (during first 28/30 days of life) 4 333 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.12 [0.59, 2.11]
3.4 Re-opening of the ductus arteriosus 6 204 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.28 [0.48, 3.38]
3.5 Need for surgical closure of the PDA 14 931 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.07 [0.76, 1.50]
3.6 Need for re-treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen to close the PDA 7 241 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.20 [0.76, 1.90]
3.7 Duration of ventilator support (days) 6 471 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -2.35 [-3.71, -0.99]
3.8 Duration of need for supplementary oxygen (days) 6 556 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.33 [-1.66, 0.99]
3.9 Pulmonary haemorrhage 3 103 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.23 [0.37, 4.10]
3.10 Pulmonary hypertension 2 118 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 3.53 [0.15, 81.11]
3.11 Chronic lung disease (at 28 days) 5 292 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.20 [0.93, 1.55]
3.12 Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) 3 357 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.12 [0.77, 1.61]
3.13 Chronic lung disease (age not stated) 2 81 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.04 [0.84, 1.27]
3.14 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 5 180 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.83 [0.47, 1.48]
3.15 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) 9 654 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.09 [0.68, 1.75]
3.16 Periventricular leukomalacia (cystic) 6 573 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.24 [0.67, 2.30]
3.17 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage) 16 948 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.64 [0.45, 0.93]
3.18 Intestinal perforation 5 255 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.48 [0.20, 1.14]
3.19 Gastrointestinal bleed 6 314 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.11 [0.57, 2.15]
3.20 Time to full enteral feeds 4 413 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.70 [-1.89, 3.29]
3.21 Time to regain birth weight (days) 2 188 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.18 [-2.59, 2.22]
3.22 Retinopathy of prematurity 5 237 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.86 [0.54, 1.38]
3.23 Sepsis 6 535 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.15 [0.73, 1.81]
3.24 Oliguria (urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour) 6 576 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.28 [0.14, 0.54]
3.25 Serum/plasma creatinine levels (μmol/L) 72 hours after treatment 9 574 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -1.68 [-5.23, 1.87]
3.26 Increase in serum/plasma creatinine levels (mg/dL) following treatment 1 21 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -15.91 [-31.78, -0.04]
3.27 Duration of hospitalisation (days) 4 368 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.69 [-4.54, 3.16]
 

4 Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous (iv) or oral indomethacin

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
4.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) (after 3 doses) 8 272 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.96 [0.73, 1.27]
4.2 All-cause mortality 4 165 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.10 [-0.20, -0.00]
4.3 Neonatal mortality (during first 28/30 days of life) 2 66 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.33 [0.33, 5.39]
4.4 Re-opening of the ductus arteriosus 1 20 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) Not estimable
4.5 Need for surgical closure of the PDA 4 174 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.93 [0.50, 1.74]
4.6 Pulmonary haemorrhage 1 21 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.15 [0.01, 2.86]
4.7 Pulmonary hypertension 1 83 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.00 [-0.05, 0.05]
4.8 Chronic lung disease (at 28 days) 1 30 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.86 [0.38, 1.95]
4.9 Chronic lung disease (age not stated) 1 18 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.52, 1.92]
4.10 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 3 77 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.90 [0.45, 1.83]
4.11 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) 2 124 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.04 [-0.14, 0.05]
4.12 Periventricular leukomalacia (cystic) 1 41 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.32 [0.01, 7.38]
4.13 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage) 7 249 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.41 [0.23, 0.73]
4.14 Intestinal perforation 2 62 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.24 [0.03, 1.95]
4.15 Gastrointestinal bleed 3 85 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.80 [0.48, 16.45]
4.16 Retinopathy of prematurity 2 71 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.98 [0.35, 2.73]
4.17 Sepsis 2 53 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.09 [0.54, 2.19]
4.18 Oliguria (urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour) 1 36 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.00 [-0.10, 0.10]
4.19 Serum/plasma creatinine levels (µmol/L) 72 hours after treatment 5 190 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.51 [-6.04, 5.01]
4.20 Duration of hospital stay (days) 1 83 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 4.55 [-3.61, 12.71]
 

5 Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous (iv) ibuprofen

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
5.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after single or 3 doses) 4 304 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.41 [0.27, 0.64]
5.2 Mortality (during first 28/30 days of life) 1 64 Odds Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.17 [0.39, 3.57]
5.3 Mortality (during hospital stay) 2 188 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.83 [0.38, 1.82]
5.4 Mean plasma cystatin-C (mg/L) after treatment 1 102 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -0.25 [-0.37, -0.13]
5.5 Need for surgical closure of the ductus 4 304 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.35 [0.11, 1.17]
5.6 Duration of ventilatory support 2 134 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.54 [-0.01, 1.10]
5.7 Duration of hospitalisation (days) 3 236 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -2.51 [-5.21, 0.19]
5.8 Pneumothorax 2 172 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.41 [0.11, 1.54]
5.9 Pulmonary haemorrhage 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.14 [0.01, 2.52]
5.10 Pulmonary hypertension 2 172 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.00 [-0.03, 0.03]
5.11 Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age or at discharge) 3 236 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.82 [0.56, 1.20]
5.12 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 1 64 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.08 [0.59, 2.00]
5.13 Periventricular leukomalacia 1 64 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.15, 6.67]
5.14 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage) 3 236 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.86 [0.35, 2.15]
5.15 Intestinal perforation 2 134 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.32 [0.01, 7.48]
5.16 Gastrointestinal bleed 2 172 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.89 [0.12, 69.24]
5.17 Sepsis 3 236 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.82 [0.54, 1.25]
5.18 Retinopathy of prematurity that required laser treatment 2 172 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.59 [0.26, 1.34]
5.19 Serum/plasma creatinine levels (μmol/L) after treatment 2 170 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -22.47 [-32.40, -12.53]
5.20 Oliguria (Urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour) 4 304 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.14 [0.01, 2.66]
5.21 Mental Developmental Index (Bayley II) at 18-24 months 1 57 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -9.00 [-23.89, 5.89]
5.22 Psychomotor Developmental Index at 18-24 months 1 57 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 5.00 [-7.67, 17.67]
5.23 Moderate/severe cerebral palsy at 18-24 months 1 57 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.35 [0.24, 7.48]
5.24 Blindness at 18-24 months 1 57 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) Not estimable
5.25 Deafness at 18-24 months 1 57 Risk Difference (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.00 [-0.07, 0.07]
 

6 High-dose versus standard-dose ibuprofen

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
6.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus after 3 doses of ibuprofen 2 130 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.27 [0.11, 0.64]
6.2 Re-opening after second course of ibuprofen 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [0.39, 10.22]
6.3 Need for surgical closure 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.15, 6.71]
6.4 Mortality during hospital stay 1 95 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.96 [0.54, 1.71]
6.5 Urine output on day 3 of treatment (mL/kg/hour) 1 70 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.10 [-0.70, 0.90]
6.6 Oliguria (< 1 mL/kg/hour during 24 hours) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.50 [0.27, 8.43]
6.7 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.67 [0.21, 2.16]
6.8 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.50 [0.10, 2.56]
6.9 Periventricular leukomalacia 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.50 [0.27, 8.43]
6.10 Retinopathy of prematurity (any stage) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.27, 3.69]
6.11 Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [0.19, 21.06]
6.12 Necrotising enterocolitis 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.33 [0.32, 5.53]
6.13 Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.60 [0.85, 3.02]
6.14 Sepsis 1 70 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.93 [0.51, 1.68]
6.15 Hospital stay (days) 1 70 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 21.00 [-1.44, 43.44]
6.16 Oliguria (< 0.5 mL/kg/hour) after onset of treatment 1 60 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.33 [0.33, 5.45]
6.17 Gastrointestinal bleed 1 60 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.40 [0.50, 3.92]
 

7 Early versus expectant administration of intravenous ibuprofen

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
7.1 Days on supplemental oxygen during the first 28 days 1 105 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [0.04, 3.96]
7.2 Days on supplemental oxygen 1 105 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [-8.20, 12.20]
7.3 Days on mechanical ventilation first 28 days 1 105 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.00 [-0.58, 4.58]
7.4 Days on mechanical ventilation 1 105 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -1.00 [-6.98, 4.98]
7.5 Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age (PMA)) 1 101 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.57, 1.75]
7.6 Mortality or chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' PMA) 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.00 [0.59, 1.67]
7.7 Mortality during hospital stay 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.63 [0.19, 2.10]
7.8 Pneumothorax 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.26 [0.30, 5.35]
7.9 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grades III and IV) 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.81 [0.29, 2.25]
7.10 Periventricular leukomalacia 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.26 [0.30, 5.35]
7.11 Necrotising enterocolitis (requiring surgery) 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.36 [0.48, 11.63]
7.12 Intestinal perforation 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.47 [0.09, 2.47]
7.13 Sepsis 1 105 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.90 [0.58, 1.41]
7.14 Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) 1 95 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.57 [0.49, 5.03]
 

8 Echocardiographically (ECHO)-guided intravenous ibuprofen treatment versus standard intravenous ibuprofen treatment

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
8.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.31 [0.44, 3.91]
8.2 Re-opening of PDA 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.25 [0.25, 20.13]
8.3 Number of ibuprofen doses 1 49 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -1.25 [-1.70, -0.80]
8.4 Mortality during hospital stay 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.56 [0.14, 2.25]
8.5 Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.35 [0.53, 3.44]
8.6 Necrotising enterocolitis 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.38 [0.08, 1.86]
8.7 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grade II and III) 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.50 [0.60, 3.74]
8.8 White matter damage 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.88 [0.40, 8.74]
8.9 Oliguria (urine output < 1 mL/kg/hour) 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 5.31 [0.29, 97.57]
8.10 Serum/plasma creatinine (µmol/L) after treatment 1 49 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) -11.49 [-29.88, 6.90]
8.11 Laser therapy for retinopathy of prematurity 1 49 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.25 [0.50, 10.05]
 

9 Continuous infusion of ibuprofen versus intermittent boluses of ibuprofen

For graphical representations of the data/results in this table, please use link under "Outcome or Subgroup."

Outcome or Subgroup Studies Participants Statistical Method Effect Estimate
9.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) after 1 course of ibuprofen 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.18 [0.88, 1.58]
9.2 Re-opening of PDA 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 3.05 [0.33, 28.47]
9.3 Need for surgical ligation 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.28 [0.08, 0.94]
9.4 Mortality (in hospital) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.02 [0.07, 15.87]
9.5 Chronic lung disease (at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 1.10 [0.55, 2.20]
9.6 Retinopathy of prematurity (any stage) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.68 [0.39, 1.19]
9.7 Retinopathy of prematurity (stage 3 or 4) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.34 [0.04, 3.16]
9.8 Intraventricular haemorrhage (any grade) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.73 [0.25, 2.15]
9.9 Intraventricular haemorrhage (grade III and IV) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.34 [0.01, 8.15]
9.10 Periventricular leukomalacia (cystic) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.51 [0.05, 5.45]
9.11 Necrotising enterocolitis 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.44 [0.12, 1.60]
9.12 Isolated intestinal perforation 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.04 [0.19, 21.82]
9.13 Oliguria (urine output ≤ 1 mL/kg/hour) 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.51 [0.05, 5.45]
9.14 Serum/plasma creatinine after treatment (µmol/L) 1 111 Mean Difference (IV, Fixed, 95% CI) 2.10 [-4.92, 9.12]
9.15 Gastrointestinal haemorrhage 1 111 Risk Ratio (M-H, Fixed, 95% CI) 0.51 [0.16, 1.59]
 

Figures

Figure 1 (Analysis 3.1)

Refer to figure 1 caption below

Forest plot of comparison: 3 Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 3.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after single or three doses). (Figure 1 description)

Figure 2 (Analysis 3.17)

Refer to figure 2 caption below

Forest plot of comparison: 3 Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 3.17 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage). (Figure 2 description)

Figure 3 (Analysis 4.1)

Refer to figure 3 caption below

Forest plot of comparison: 4 Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 4.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after three doses). (Figure 3 description)

Figure 4 (Analysis 4.13)

Refer to figure 4 caption below

Forest plot of comparison: 4 Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 4.18 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage). (Figure 4 description)

Figure 5 (Analysis 5.1)

Refer to figure 5 caption below

Forest plot of comparison: 5 Oral ibuprofen versus intravenous ibuprofen, outcome: 5.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after single or three doses). (Figure 5 description)

Figure 6 (Analysis 3.1)

Refer to figure 6 caption below

Funnel plot of comparison: 3 Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 3.1 Failure to close a patent ductus arteriosus (after single or three doses). (Figure 6 description)

Figure 7 (Analysis 3.17)

Refer to figure 7 caption below

Funnel plot of comparison: 3 Intravenous or oral ibuprofen versus intravenous or oral indomethacin, outcome: 3.17 Necrotising enterocolitis (any stage). (Figure 7 description)

Figure 8

Refer to figure 8 caption below

Risk of bias summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study. (Figure 8 description)

Figure 9

Refer to figure 9 caption below

Risk of bias graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies. (Figure 9 description)

Sources of support

Internal sources

  • Department of Paediatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

External sources

  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services , USA
  • The Cochrane Neonatal Review Group was funded in part with Federal funds from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, USA, under Contract No. HHSN267200603418C

    This review is published as a Cochrane review in The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2015 (see http://www.thecochranelibrary.com External Web Site Policy for information).  Cochrane reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to feedback.  The Cochrane Library should be consulted for the most recent version of the review.