Patent Ductus Arteriosus PDA

  • Failure of the ductus to close in the early weeks of life, as normally occurs, results in a "Patent" (or "Persistent") Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). This allows blood to flow between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, leading to an increase in flow in the lung circulation. If the PDA is large the pressure in the lungs may also be elevated. Affected babies may develop heart failure in the early weeks of life.

    Children with a small PDA are often asymptomatic, but may develop Infective Endocarditis.


    Surgery may be needed when the ductus is large, but in many cases the ductus can be closed using a spring coil introduced with a heart catheter.

    With some larger PDAs a 'Device' (similar to that used for closure of ASD) may be employed.

    Device closure of PDA

    Various devices have been used in recent years. They are introduced through a heart catheter, usually under a general anaesthetic.

    This technique is not suitable for premature babies with a PDA and cannot be used for all affected children, some of whom still need an operation.


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