What is it?

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a persistent opening between the aorta and the pulmonary arteries. This opening is normal in a fetus, but typically it closes shortly after delivery. If the opening is small, it may be asymptomatic and will not need treatment, but a large PDA allows poorly oxygenated blood to flow to the baby’s lung and heat, making the heart enlarged and weak.

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Signs & symptoms

PDA symptoms in a baby may include difficulty eating, failure to thrive, sweating or crying while eating, easy tiring, tachycardia and tachypnea.


PDA could be suspected if on a physical exam a heart murmur is heard. PDA is diagnosed with an echocardiogram, a chest X-ray, and an electrocardiogram.


Sometimes, PDA is monitored and if there are not any symptoms, it is not treated. Otherwise, it could be treated with medications- NSAIDs could help close the PDA, a surgery and a catheter procedure can help and close PDA.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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