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Congenit Heart Dis. 2009 Jan-Feb;4(1):34-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2008.00241.x.

Surgical closure of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm low birth weight infants.

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Department of Paediatric Surgery, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.



In many preterm low-birth-weight infants, ductus arteriosus fails to close spontaneously. This study evaluates the results of surgical ligation of symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm low birth weight infants.


We reviewed the medical records of all infants undergoing surgical closure of PDA from January 1987 to December 2005. Demographic data, age and weight at operation, surgical technique to close PDA and outcome were analyzed.


One hundred and forty-five infants underwent surgical closure of PDA in which either indomethacin treatment had failed or was contraindicated. The mean gestational age was 25.5 +/- 2.3 (range 24-36 weeks) and the mean birth weight was 837.7 +/- 277.2 g (450-1000 g). The average age and weight at operation were 14.1 (+/-1.8) days and 881.7 g (+/-338.1), respectively. PDA was surgically closed by left thoracotomy using either nonabsorbable suture (73%) or hemoclips (27%). Postoperative complications occurred in 10 patients, which included intraoperative bleeding (6), pneumothorax (1), left vocal cord paralysis (1), lymphatic leak (1), and injury to left phrenic nerve (1). There was no mortality related to surgical closure of PDA.


We conclude that surgical closure of hemodynamically significant PDA is safe and effective in preterm low birth weight infants when pharmacological treatment is ineffective or contraindicated. The associated morbidity is minimal and no surgery-related mortality was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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