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Tim Hundscheid1 · Afif El Khuffash2 · Patrick J. McNamara3 · Willem P. de Boode1. Survey highlighting the lack of consensus on diagnosis and treatment of patent ductus arteriosus in prematurity. Mar 2022. European Journal of Pediatrics

Abstract

To gain insight in the availability of guidelines, diagnostic criteria, and treatment strategies and whether clinical equipoise regarding optimal treatment for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in prematurity is present. We hypothesized that (co-)authors of PDA-related papers were more likely to screen for a PDA and would treat earlier and more aggressively. An international internet-based survey between September 2019 and March 2020 in which we collected (1) baseline characteristics; (2) availability of guidelines; (3) screening strategy for PDA; (4) diagnostic criteria for hemodynamic significance; (5) treatment strategy; and (6) metrics of treatment efficacy. Finally, ten clinical equipoise statements were posed on a Likert scale. In total, 144 surveys were sent, of which 71/144 (49%) surveys could be analyzed with 56/71 (79%) fully completed surveys. The respondents, mainly neonatologists in a level III neonatal intensive care unit, of whom 36/71 (51%) had (co-)authored a publication on the PDA, highlighted a lack of national guidelines, heterogeneous approach to screening strategies, and marked variability in diagnostic criteria to assess hemodynamic significance, treatment strategies and effect measurement. No major significant differences were observed between respondents who did or did not (co-)author a publication on the PDA. Respondents who screened for PDA scored significantly higher on the need for screening, early and aggressive treatment. Remarkably, the scores of all statements regarding clinical equipoise varied widely. Conclusions: Our survey highlights the lack of guidelines and enormous heterogeneity in current practice. Current evidence is not robust enough to harmonize current treatment strategies into (inter)national guidelines.

 

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