Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Patent Ductus Arteriosus Overview

What is patent ductus arteriosus?
An infant with patent ductus arteriosus is born with abnormal blood flow through the large vessels that deliver blood from the heart to the body and lungs. During development in the womb, the fetus receives oxygen from the mother's bloodstream. The developing fetus has a blood vessel, called the ductus arteriosus, which allows blood to bypass the fetal lungs. At birth, this blood vessel normally closes, allowing blood to flow to the lungs. In an infant with patent ductus arteriosus, the ductus arteriosus does not close properly at birth. Patent ductus arteriosus results in low blood oxygen levels and lung damage. Patent ductus arteriosus may occur in premature infants, or in infants born with an abnormal heart.

What are the symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus?
Symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus include rapid pulse, breathing difficulty, an enlarged heart, and a heart murmur.

How does the doctor treat patent ductus arteriosus?
Treatment for patent ductus arteriosus includes medications that help stimulate the patent ductus to close, and surgery to close the patent ductus arteriosus.

Continue to Patent Ductus Arteriosus Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Patent Ductus Arteriosus References
  1. Bose CL, Laughon MM. Patent ductus arteriosus: lack of evidence for common treatments. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2007 Nov;92(6):F498-502. [17951552]
  2. Clyman RI. Mechanisms regulating the ductus arteriosus. Biol Neonate. 2006;89(4):330-5. Epub 2006 Jun 1. [16720484]
  3. DiMenna L, Laabs C, McCoskey L, Seals A. Management of the neonate with patent ductus arteriosus. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2006 Oct-Dec;20(4):333-40; quiz 341-2. [17310674]
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