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Arch Hellen Med, 27(1), January-February 2010, 66-71


Patent ductus arteriosus in the newborn

1Pediatrician, Kastoria,
2Department of Pediatrics, "Bodosakeio" General Hospital of Ptolemaida, Ptolemaida, Greece

The ductus arteriosus (DA) is a basic component of fetal circulation, necessary for the right cardiac development and function. After birth in full-term infants, the DA closes functionally, usually during the first day of life. Persistence of patency of the DA, patent DA (PDA), may be an isolated condition or it may be associated with cardiac abnormalities. PDA produces a shunt depending on its size and the pressure difference between pulmonary and systemic circulation. Preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) are at risk of persistent shunting through the DA during the recovery phase, and thereafter of prolonged respiratory compromise. The treatment of PDA includes conservative and surgical methods. Prophylactic administration of indomethacin reduces the frequency of PDA and severe intraventricular hemorrhage in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants.

Key words: Indomethacin, Neonate, Patent ductus arteriosus.

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