Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)


Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is an abnormal vessel connecting between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. This causes additional blood flow from the aorta to enter the pulmonary circulation resulting in vascular congestion of the lungs. This is a fairly common condition and more frequently found in premature babies.


Treatments for PDA includes:

  • Medicines
  • Catheter-based procedures
  • Surgery


Some medications do help to close PDA in premature infants. Medications do not usually work in full-term infants. They work by stimulating the PDA to constrict or tighten, closing the connection.

Catheter-based procedures (PDA Device Closure)

These procedures are often used to close PDAs in patients who are old enough.

  • The staff will clean your skin area where the doctor will insert the catheter with an antiseptic solution. This is usually at the top of the leg (groin). You will then be covered with a sterile drape. Next, the doctor will use a small needle to inject some local anesthesia to numb your skin area where the catheter will be inserted. The nurse will give you medication to relieve pain and allow you to relax. You may feel pressure or brief discomfort as the catheter is inserted.
  • When the delivery catheter is positioned where the PDA is, the doctor will deploy the occlusive device. On successful deployment of the device, the result of the procedure can be immediately checked by echocardiography and angiography.


Surgery for PDA may be performed when:

  • A premature or full-term infant develops health problems resulting from the PDA and is too small to have a catheter-based procedure
  • A PDA is not successfully closed by a catheter-based procedure
  • Surgery is planned for treatment of related congenital heart defects


Other Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery services: