What is Patent Ductus Arteriosus ?
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart condition that occurs when a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus does not close properly after birth. This blood vessel is an important part of the circulatory system before birth, allowing blood to bypass the lungs and go directly to the body. After birth, the ductus arteriosus is usually supposed to close and become scar tissue, but in some cases, it remains open (patent).
In PDA, blood flows from the aorta, which carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body, back into the pulmonary artery, which carries blood to the lungs. This can cause a decrease in blood flow to the body and increase the workload on the heart.
PDA is often asymptomatic in newborns, but symptoms can develop later in life, including shortness of breath, rapid breathing, fatigue, and heart murmur. PDA can be diagnosed with a physical examination, electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, and echocardiogram.
Treatment for PDA depends on the size of the PDA and the severity of symptoms. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary. In other cases, medication may be used to reduce blood flow through the ductus arteriosus and allow it to close on its own. In severe cases, surgical closure of the ductus arteriosus may be necessary.
It is important to seek prompt medical attention if you or your child experiences symptoms of PDA, as untreated PDA can lead to serious complications, such as heart failure and increased risk of infection.