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Neonatology. 2007;91(4):260-5. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

The hemodynamically significant ductus arteriosus in critically ill full-term neonates. Two case reports?

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Division of Neonatology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


In premature infants, the clinical effects and management of a hemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus (HSDA) are well-described. In full-term neonates the ductus arteriosus (DA) is rarely monitored except in cases of concomitant pulmonary hypertension or duct dependent congenital heart disease. Although systemic-pulmonary shunting commonly occurs in mature infants, coinciding with the normal postnatal fall in pulmonary vascular resistance, cardiac failure in the neonatal period is rarely attributed directly to the DA. In this case series, we report two full-term infants who were initially treated for pulmonary hypertension and myocardial dysfunction but developed clinical, radiographic and two-dimensional echocardiographic evidence of cardiac failure secondary to a large unrestrictive patent DA (PDA). One patient was treated with indomethacin, and, although transductal diameter decreased, there was no clinical benefit. Cardiac failure resolved and myocardial function improved in both cases after PDA ligation. We suggest that PDA be monitored closely in neonates recovering from PPHN who have ongoing oxygenation difficulties or myocardial failure. PDA ligation should be considered an option for full term neonates with cardiac failure secondary to a HSDA when other therapeutic options fail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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