Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a fairly common congenital heart defect that occurs in about 3000 newborns every year in the United States and it occurs when a temporary blood vessel, called the ductus arteriosus does not close soon after birth. Soon after birth, the ductus arteriosus should close up to prevent mixing oxygen poor blood from the pulmonary artery with oxygen rich blood from the aorta. When this doesn't happen, the baby has Patent Ductus Arteriosus. Some of the common signs and symptoms of Patent Ductus Arteriosus include sweating, rapid and heavy breathing, poor weight gain and little interest in feeding.
HOW IS PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS DIAGNOSED?
The various tests included are:
• a chest X-ray
• an EKG, a test that measures the heart's electrical activity and can show if the heart is enlarged
• an echocardiogram, a test that uses sound waves to diagnose heart problems.
• blood tests
HOW IS PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS TREATED?
The three treatment options for PDA are medication, catheter-based procedures, and surgery. A doctor will close a PDA if the size of the opening is large enough that the lungs could become overloaded with blood, a condition that can lead to an enlarged heart. A doctor might also close a PDA to reduce the risk of developing a heart infection known as endocarditis, which affects the tissue lining the heart and blood vessels.
DID YOU KNOW?
On average, PDA occurs in about 8 out of every 1,000 premature babies, compared with 2 out of every 1,000 full-term babies. Premature babies also are more vulnerable to the effects of PDA. PDA is twice as common in girls as it is in boys.