Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

When the fetal blood vessel ductus arteriosus which connects the pulmonary artery of the fetus to the aorta, which normally closes soon after birth, remains open in the infant, it is referred to as patent ductus arteriosus.

  • When the fetal connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery remains open in the infant, it results in the abnormality patent ductus arteriosus.
  • This condition may not cause any symptoms in most cases.
  • A heart murmur, when investigated, may lead to the diagnosis of this condition.
  • Drug treatment with indomethacin may close the connection; if it fails, surgical closure is necessary.

Patent ductus arteriosus causes left-to-right shunting of blood into the pulmonary artery, resulting in high blood pressure developing in the lungs due to the extra amount of blood flowing into the lungs. This may cause tissue damage in the lungs. This condition occurs more frequently in babies born prematurely.

Patent ductus arteriosus may be asymptomatic in most cases, and the condition in a newborn is suspected when a heart murmur is detected. The typical symptoms, when present, are cyanosis and breathing difficulty, which may either appear at birth or many weeks later.

A drug called indomethacin, which blocks prostaglandin production, is effective in closing the ductus arteriosus in 80% of the cases. This drug is administered as early as possible, usually within ten days of birth, as its effectiveness decreases with age. Prematurely born infants are benefitted more than infants born at full term. When patent ductus arteriosus is not resolved by repeated administration of indomethacin, the blood vessel connection is surgically closed.

Watch This Video About PDA:

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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