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Impact of Targeted Neonatal Echocardiography on Patent Ductus Arteriosus Management in a Canadian Tertiary Care Neonatal Unit: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Objective Comprehensive assessment of hemodynamic significance of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a common indication to perform targeted neonatal echocardiography (TNE). Impact of implementation of such an assessment on PDA management decisions remains to be reported. The objective of this study is to compare PDA-related hemodynamic information and PDA treatment decisions before and after introduction of TNE service.
Study Design This was a retrospective cohort study at a tertiary level neonatal intensive care unit in Southwestern Ontario. We investigated two time periods: Epoch-1 (non-TNE 2013–2016) versus Epoch-2 (TNE 2018–2021). We included neonates < 32 weeks with PDA. Data on baseline clinical characteristics, PDA-related echocardiographic parameters, PDA treatment details, and relevant long-term outcomes were collected. Primary outcome was defined as PDA treatment rates and need for multiple courses. Secondary outcomes included availability of PDA hemodynamic data and neonatal mortality/morbidity (PDA-related)
Results A total of 275 neonates were included. A total of 162 were assessed by conventional echocardiography in Epoch-1, whereas 113 were assessed by TNE in Epoch-2. Baseline clinical characteristics were similar. Epoch-2 had more echocardiographic assessments per patient of 2.7 (±1.8) versus 1.9 (± 1.3), p < 0.001 in Epoch1. The mean postnatal age at first echocardiographic assessment was higher in Epoch-2 (12.7 days [ ± 14.6]) than in Epoch-1 (7.9 days [ ± 10.4]), p < 0.001. Comprehensive hemodynamic assessment of PDA-related echocardiographic parameters such as PDA size, shunt pattern, effect on systemic circulation, and pulmonary circulation were higher in Epoch-2. Overall, PDA treatment rates were comparable in the two time periods. The use of multiple courses of treatment was higher in Epoch-1 than in Epoch-2 (47.8 vs. 31.7%, p = 0.047). In Epoch-1, neonates received PDA treatment earlier than in Epoch-2.
Conclusion With the implementation of the TNE service, increased echocardiographic evaluations per patient were completed with availability of more comprehensive hemodynamic information about PDA. PDA treatment rates were similar in the two epochs, but need for multiple courses were less in TNE era.
TNE allows comprehensive hemodynamic assessment of PDA.
Implementation of dedicated TNE service led to increased use of echocardiography to assess PDA.
Standardized hemodynamic assessment of PDA may allow improved individualization of treatment need.
Received: 14 June 2023
Accepted: 01 August 2023
Article published online:
15 September 2023
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