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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1991;5(11):566-70.

Aneurysm of the ductus arteriosus. A review of the literature and the surgical implications.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


One hundred and forty-four cases of aneurysms of the ductus arteriosus (DAA) have been reported in the literature of which 106 appeared spontaneously and 38 followed surgical treatment of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Within the last few years there has been an increasing number of reported spontaneous DAA. However, the real incidence is presumably still underestimated. Aortography is a well established diagnostic method. In neonates, transthoracic echocardiography has shown convincing potential, whereas in older children and adults, transoesophageal echocardiography has yielded very promising results. Serious complications following spontaneous DAA are rupture, erosion, infection and thromboembolism. In infants younger than 2 months of age, the complication rate is 31%, in children between 2 months and 15 years, 66%, in adults, 47%. The rate of complications following postoperative DAA is even higher: 91% of the unoperated cases died due to rupture or infection. The operative mortality in children older than 2 months and adults is low. In the neonate group, 2 of 8 died during operation. The operative mortality in patients with postoperative DAA was 26%. Based on information from the literature, we suggest prompt surgical treatment of all spontaneous DAA in patients older than 2 months of age, and in all patients with postoperative DAA. In infants, a DAA should be closely followed with echocardiography, as spontaneous regression has been reported in this age group. If no regression is seen within a few days, it should be surgically corrected.

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