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J Perinatol. 2011 Mar;31(3):150-6. doi: 10.1038/jp.2010.83. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Spectral Doppler waveforms in systemic arteries and physiological significance of a patent ductus arteriosus.

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Monash Newborn, Monash Children's, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Patent ductus arteriosus in extremely premature babies is associated with major neonatal morbidities, such as necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage. This may be attributable, at least in part, to systemic hypoperfusion secondary to ductal steal. A hemodynamically significant ductus arteriosus (HSDA) is known to be associated with altered systemic blood flow and end-organ hypoperfusion. Although descending aorta blood flow profiles may show abnormal diastolic retrograde flow, Doppler studies of blood flow in the systemic arteries may help improve our understanding of the relationship of a HSDA with these morbidities. In this article, we discuss aspects of diastolic blood flow reversal in the systemic arteries in premature infants with a hemodynamically significant duct. Whether these hemodynamic effects are significant enough to form the basis for initiating treatment is still unclear; these should form the basis for prospective studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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