Patent Ductus Arteriosus is a condition that is characterized by a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels that carry blood from the heart. The condition may also cause weakening of heart muscles leading to heart failure and other complications. In most cases, a large PDA may cause poor eating, sweating often, persistent fast breathing, easily getting fatigued and a rapid heart rate.
HOW IS PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS DIAGNOSED?
A Pediatric/General Physician diagnoses Patent Ductus Arteriosus by listening to the child’s heart and conducting a chest X-ray to closely examine the condition of the heart and lungs. In many cases, the doctor performs an echocardiogram to see the size of the heart and detect any abnormality in the flow of the blood.
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.