What're the treatments for patent ductus arteriosus?
Both surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment are available. Surgically, the DA may be closed by ligation, wherein the DA is manually tied shut, or with intravascular coils that physically constrict the DA. Fluid restriction and prostaglandin inhibitors such as indomethacin have also been used in successful non-surgical closure of the DA. This is an especially
viable alternative for premature infants.
Surgical repair - the goal is to repair the patent ductus arteriosus before the lungs become diseased from too much blood flow and pressure. Repair is usually indicated in infants younger than 6 months of age who have large defects that are causing symptoms, such as poor weight gain and rapid breathing. For infants who do not exhibit symptoms, the repair may often be delayed until after 6 months of age. Your child's cardiologist will recommend when the repair should be performed. Your child's PDA may be repaired surgically in the operating room or by a cardiac catheterization procedure. The surgical repair, also called PDA ligation, is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure involves closing the open PDA with stitches to prevent the surplus blood from entering your child's lungs. The cardiac catheterization procedure may also be an option for treatment. During the procedure, the child is sedated and a small, thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin and guided to the inside of the heart. Once the catheter is in the heart, the cardiologist will pass a special device, called a coil or occluder, into the open PDA preventing blood from flowing through it. Advancements in cardiovascular surgical repair include video assisted thoracoscopic surgery.
Medical management - in premature infants, an intravenous (IV) medication called indomethacin may help close a patent ductus arteriosus. Indomethacin is related to aspirin and ibuprofen and works by stimulating the muscles inside the PDA to constrict, thereby closing the connection. Your child's physician can answer any further questions you may have about this treatment. Digoxin is a medicine that helps strengthen the heart muscle, enabling it to pump more efficiently.
The body's water balance can be affected when the heart is not working as well as it could. Diuretics help the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body. Most infants with PDA eat and grow normally, but premature infants or those infants with a large PDA may become tired when feeding, and are not able to eat enough to gain weight.
More information on patent ductus arteriosus
What is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)? - Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital heart defect wherein a child's ductus arteriosus fails to close after birth.
What causes patent ductus arteriosus? - Some babies are more likely to have PDA, especially premature babies. In premature infants, especially those who have had respiratory distress syndrome, this blood vessel may stay open.
What are the symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus? - Symptoms of patent ductus arteriosus may include fatigue, sweating, rapid breathing, heavy breathing, congested breathing, disinterest in feeding, or tiring while feeding, poor weight gain.
How is patent ductus arteriosus diagnosed? - Your child's physician may have heard a heart murmur during a physical examination, and referred your child to a pediatric cardiologist for a diagnosis.
What're the treatments for patent ductus arteriosus? - Both surgical and non-surgical methods of treatment are available. In premature infants, an intravenous (IV) medication called indomethacin may help close a patent ductus arteriosus.