BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Thrombocytopenia is associated with late closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). There are few studies evaluating platelet transfusions to treat PDA. We compared liberal platelet-transfusion criteria (to maintain a platelet count >100 000 per µL) versus standard criteria achieve earlier PDA closure among thrombocytopenic preterm neonates (<35 weeks’ gestation) with hemodynamically significant PDA (hs-PDA) presenting within the first 2 weeks of life.

METHODS:

Thrombocytopenic (<100 000 per µL) preterm neonates with hs-PDA were enrolled and randomly allocated to the liberal and standard transfusion groups: 22 in each arm. They underwent echocardiography daily until closure of PDA, completion of 120 hours follow-up, or death. All subjects received standard cotreatment with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Primary outcome of time to PDA closure was compared by survival analysis. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression was performed with randomization group, baseline platelet count, gestational age, and age at enrollment as predictor variables.

RESULTS:

Median time to PDA closure was 72 (95% confidence interval [CI] 55.9–88.1) versus 72 (95% CI 45.5–98.4) hours in the liberal versus restrictive transfusion groups, respectively (unadjusted hazard ratio 0.88 [95% CI 0.4–1.9]; P = .697). Despite adjusting for potential confounders, there was no significant difference in time to PDA closure. In the liberal transfusion group, 41% of infants had any grade of intraventricular hemorrhage compared with 4.5% in the restrictive group (P = .009).

CONCLUSIONS:

Attempting to maintain a platelet count >100 000 per µL by liberally transfusing platelets in preterm thrombocytopenic neonates with hs-PDA does not hasten PDA closure.

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