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What Is The Best Treatment For Patent Ductus Arteriosus & Coping Methods For It?

Patent ductus arteriosus is a heart defect that develops soon after birth and your baby may require medicines to help their heart work better.1

Anti-inflammatory drugs may not be suitable for pre-mature babies, so your doctor may suggest watchful waiting.2,3

In preterm infants, a persistent patent ductus arteriosus is due to complications in prostaglandin metabolism. Based on the diagnosis, the infant will be treated for their condition.4

What Is The Best Treatment For Patent Ductus Arteriosus?

Treatment is often dependent on the child’s age, health condition, and complexity of the problem. During such cases, the infant is treated using the below

Medicines- In pre-mature infants’ non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen and Indocin may be helpful to close the patent ductus arteriosus. These drugs aid in blocking the chemical hormone, prostaglandin E 2 that prevents the patent ductus arteriosus from closing.

Medicines are administered intravenously to stimulate the muscles for tightening the patent ductus arteriosus.1

Cardiac Catherization- This is a procedure typically used by pediatric cardiac interventionists wherein a small device is placed in the vessel for the patent ductus arteriosus closure. During cardiac catheterization, the child is put into sedation and the cardiologist puts a long thin tube called a catheter into the vein at the top of the infant’s leg. A dye may be sometimes administered to place the catheter in the correct place.

  • The procedure is carried out only in babies
  • Is older than 24-26 weeks
  • Is at least >8 kgs
  • The opening is not too large with minimal complications.

Major complications are rare with cardiac catheter however bleeding, heart stroke, and damage to the artery are some of the risks involved with this procedure.

Surgery- Pre-mature babies develop various health complications with a cardiac catheter procedure. During such instance surgery may be an option. Surgical closure is often advisable in babies younger than 6 months old who have severe complications and also in underweight infants.

However, surgery can be delayed to 6-12 months when the infants show no symptoms. The surgery may take up to three hours depending on the complication.

During the surgery, the cardiologist makes a small incision between your child’s ribs to repair the open duct using clips and stitches. This prevents the extra blood flow from passing through the lungs.2,3

Coping Methods For Patent Ductus Arteriosus

In most cases, medicines help close the duct therefore babies don’t require admission to the hospital and will be discharged after the examination.

Your healthcare provider will teach you on feeding medicines to the baby and also report when the child show symptoms. Infants who are fed poorly before surgery recover faster and start eating more better after surgery. They can even perform normal activities faster.

Your child’s cardiac team will advise instructions about the care and symptoms of your child. In babies born in full-term after the complete gestation period, the outlook after surgical repair depends on the child’s health.4

The ductus arteriosus is a normal blood vessel that connects the aorta and pulmonary artery after birth. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart complication diagnosed days or months shortly a baby is born. The pulmonary arteries are vessels of the pulmonary secretion carrying oxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs.

When the patent ductus arteriosus is open, there is an extra flow of blood to the lungs causing the problem to the infants’ heart.


  1. “Default – Stanford Children’s Health.” Stanford Children’s Health – Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=patent-ductus-arteriosus-pda-90-P01811
  2. Ellis, Mary Ellen. “Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/patent-ductus-arteriosus
  3. Clyman, Ronald I, and Nancy Chorne. “Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Evidence for and against Treatment.” The Journal of Pediatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2007, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2723062/
  4. Pediatrics, Department of. “Protective Strategies to Prevent Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Chinese Medical Journal.” LWW, https://journals.lww.com/cmj/Fulltext/2010/10020/Protective_strategies_to_prevent_patent_ductus.26.aspx

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 19, 2021

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