What is Patent Ductus Arteriosus

  • Ductus Arteriosus is the name of the duct that carries blood between the aorta and the pulmonary artery in the foetus. Before birth the foetal circulation depends on a passage between the aorta and the pulmonary artery – the Ductus Arteriosus. This duct starts to close in the first hours after birth. If this doesn’t happen, blood will pass from the aorta to the pulmonary artery and into the lungs – this will give the heart and lungs too much work to do. This condition is called Patent (meaning open) Ductus Arteriosus.This is a common condition in babies who are born prematurely

  • PDA cannot be diagnosed during pregnancy as it is part of the normal fetal circulation before birth. The child may be breathless, have problems feeding, and be slow putting on weight.The child may also be prone to chest infections. The sound of blood moving through the duct can be heard as a heart murmur.

  • The first treatment to close a PDA is medical. The next option is to close the PDA by surgery. Because the duct is outside of the heart, it can be closed without opening the heart. Most PDA's in older infants are closed using a catheter technique. The duct is closed using either a coil/plug or occluders. The coil or occluders are passed to the duct through a blood vessel from the groin. The device is expanded to block the PDA.

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