Open Ductus Arteriosus | Patent Ductus Arteriosus Treatment

Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA is a heart condition. PDA is a persistent opening between two large blood vessels coming from your heart. The opening (known as the ductus arteriosus) is a normal part of a baby’s circulatory system before birth and usually closes shortly after birth. However, if it remains open, it is called a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

More about Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

The ductus arteriosus is part of a baby’s circulatory system before birth. It directs blood away from the lungs into the fetus. Usually it closes within a few days of birth. However, in babies with PDA, the ductus arteriosus remains open after birth.

If the persistent opening is small, it may shrink and eventually close on its own within a year of delivery. However, health problems are more likely when the ductus arteriosus is large. It can lead to weakening of the heart muscles (heart muscles), which can lead to heart failure and other serious complications.

What Are the Symptoms of Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

The symptoms of PDA vary and depend on two factors. Among which –

● The size of the opening

● If the baby is born full term or premature.

If the PDA is small in the baby, there may be no signs or symptoms even into adulthood. However, babies with a large PDA may experience symptoms shortly after birth. It includes the following –

● Poor growth

● Insufficient power supply

● Shortness of breath or rapid breathing

● Rapid heart rate

● Sweating while eating or crying

● Get tired easily

When does medical care become crucial?

Contact your doctor immediately if your baby experiences the following problems:

● Get tired while playing or eating

● Gasps while crying or eating

● Not growing or gaining weight

● Get out of breath

●Breathes quickly

Call 1860-500-1066 to make an appointment

What Causes Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

PDA is a congenital heart disease. It arises as a result of problems in the early stages of the heart’s development. While there is no clear cause, genetic factors may contribute.

Before delivery, the ductus arteriosus (vascular connection) is present between the aorta (the main blood vessel) and the pulmonary artery (lungs) of the fetus. It helps circulate blood to the baby. It allows the fetus to receive oxygenated blood from the mother by rerouting the blood from the lungs of the fetus.

The ductus arteriosus usually closes within a day or three after birth. Babies born prematurely may take a little longer to shrink and seal. However, if it remains open, the condition is known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus.

This heart defect can cause excessive blood circulation in the baby’s heart and lungs. If left untreated, it can lead to pulmonary hypertension (increase in blood pressure in the baby’s lungs) and enlargement of the heart, which can lead to serious health complications.

What Are the Risk Factors for Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

The risk factors of Patent Ductus Arteriosus include the following:

● Term of Birth – PDA is more common in premature babies than in full-term babies.

● Family History/Genetic Disorders – Babies with a family history of heart disease or genetic defects such as Down syndrome are at higher risk.

● Rubella virus infection during pregnancy – If you get a rubella virus infection during your pregnancy, your baby may be at risk of developing heart disease.

● Gender – A female child is twice more susceptible to this condition than a male child.

● Altitude at Birth – Babies born at higher altitudes (3,048 meters) are at greater risk of PDA than babies born at lower altitudes.

What Are the Complications of Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

Some of the complications of PDA when the opening is large include:

● Pulmonary hypertension

● Heart failure

● Endocarditis (heart infection)

How Will Your Doctor Diagnose Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

If you or your child has a PDA, the doctor may notice a heart murmur on examination. For further confirmation he could order –

● Chest X-ray

● Echocardiogram

● Electrocardiogram

● Cardiac catheterization

What Are the Treatment Options for Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition and the age of the patient. The options include the following –

Careful surveillance

● In babies born prematurely, the hole tends to close on its own. So your doctor will observe your baby’s heart condition to make sure that the PDA closes properly.

● In the case of term infants, children and adults with a small PDA and no other health problems, just wait and watch the PDA closely.


● In premature babies, NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as indomethacin or ibuprofen may be helpful. These drugs can block the chemicals that prevent the duct from closing.

● In term infants, children and adults, NSAIDs are unlikely to help.

surgical procedures

● If medicines don’t work and your child suffers from health complications, your doctor may recommend surgery. During surgery, your doctor will repair the open canal using clips or sutures. After the operation, your child will remain in the hospital for observation for a few days. It may take several weeks to recover from surgery.

● If you are an adult and have health complications from PDA, your doctor may also recommend surgical closure.

Catheter procedure

In this procedure, a catheter (a thin tube) is inserted into the blood vessel of your groin and guided to your heart. Your doctor will insert a coil or plug through this tube to repair the opening in the canal.

● Your doctor may not recommend catheter-based treatment for a premature baby if he or she has no health problems from PDA. In such cases, your doctor will ask you to wait until your baby is old enough to have the catheter procedure.

● If you are an adult or if your child is born full term, your doctor may use this procedure.

Routine aftercare

Even if you had surgery for a PDA as a child, you are likely to have certain complications later in life. Therefore, lifelong follow-up is crucial. It includes periodic screening and discussing care plans.

How Can You Prevent Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

While there is no specific method for preventing PDA, a healthy pregnancy can help. Some of the most important preventive measures when you are pregnant are as follows:

● Early Prenatal Care – It is crucial to talk to your doctor about issues such as stress, birth control pills, medications, etc. before getting pregnant.

● Eat healthy – Follow a healthy and balanced diet according to your body’s needs. Including nutritional supplements containing folic acid. It helps prevent congenital diseases.

● Exercise regularly – Talk to your doctor and discuss an exercise plan that works for you.

● Stay away from risks – Do not smoke or consume alcohol if you are planning to become pregnant. Avoiding saunas is also a good idea.

● Adjust your vaccinations before you become pregnant. Certain types of infections can be harmful to a developing baby.

● Continue to monitor blood glucose levels – If your blood sugar levels are high, see your doctor and discuss diabetes treatment plans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will people with PDA need more surgeries?

Once your doctor has operated on you to repair your PDA, further surgery(s) is unlikely. In some rare scenarios, there may be a residual gap. However, whether or not your doctor should close it depends on the size of the hole.

2. Can you get pregnant after having PDA correction surgery?

If you have undergone a PDA correction procedure, you are likely leading a normal life and tolerating the pregnancy well. However, if you have another condition, such as Eisenmenger syndrome, you should consult your doctor when planning to become pregnant.

3. Is PDA a life-threatening condition?

An untreated large PDA puts extra pressure on the blood vessels of your lungs and heart vessels. So it can be life-threatening, especially if you are between 40 and 50 years old.

4. Can your child lead a normal life with a PDA?

Yes, your child can enjoy a normal life if his PDA is small and does not cause any health complications. Even if your child’s PDA is large, they can live a normal life after PDA correction. However, it is advisable to keep in touch with your doctor.

Call 1860-500-1066 to make an appointment

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