Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

Search Symptoms

Category: Cardiology

Back to Medical Reference

Patent ductus arteriosus overview

Published: June 20, 2009. Updated: July 04, 2009

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a condition in which there is persistant patency of the ductus arteriosus. The ductus is a direct connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery which is present and functional during fetal life but which is unnecessary once air-breathing begins. Its patency is normally obliterated by the constriction resulting from the inhibition of prostaglandins. This condition is common in rubella infection and high altitudes or prematurity.

The hemodynamic effects are similar to aortic incompetence. In cases complicated with Eisenmenger's syndrome there is reversal of the shunt with consequent differential cyanosis.

Treatment

Treatment is always to close the patency. This may be attempted with indomethacin in premature infants. Surgery is delayed in infective endocarditis. It is contraindicated if the pulmonary vascular resistance exceeds 70% of the systemic resistance.


Previous: Premature atrial complexes (PACs) Next: Premature junctional complexes (PJCs)

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?