Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital condition where the ductus – a small vessel connecting the aorta to the pulmonary artery – does not close after birth.
Normally, a fetus uses the patent ductus to supply oxygenated blood from the mother to the body. After birth, blood circulation through the pulmonary vessels in the lungs causes the ductus to close. If it does not close, there is more strain on the left ventricle, which can lead to pulmonary hypertension.
The closure of the ductus arteriosus relies on prostaglandin released locally after birth. Babies can show signs of heart failure as early as their first year of life, as well as pulmonary hypertension.
There may be no symptoms of a small PDA. However, the signs include:
Your UT Southwestern Medical Center doctor may use several tests to diagnose patent ductus arteriosus. Common diagnostic tests include:
PDA can sometimes close on its own within a couple of weeks of birth. If it doesn’t close, there are some ways to close it. Options include:
Learn more about the condition and treatment options for patients in the Dallas area at Children’s Medical Center.