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Congenit Heart Dis. 2010 Jul-Aug;5(4):354-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2010.00435.x.

To close or not to close: the very small patent ductus arteriosus.

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Harvard Medical School and Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA.


Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) accounts for approximately 10% of all congenital heart diseases, with an incidence of at least 2-4 per 1000 term births. Closure of the large, hemodynamically significant PDA is established as the standard of care, and can be performed safely and effectively using either surgical or transcatheter methods. The appropriate management of the very small, hemodynamically insignificant PDA is less clear. Routine closure of such defects has been advocated to eliminate or reduce the risk of infective endocarditis (IE). However, the risk of IE in patients with a small PDA appears to be extremely low, and IE is treatable. Although closure of the small PDA is generally safe and technically successful, it is unknown whether this treatment truly improves the risk:benefit balance compared with observation. In this article, we review the published literature on the natural history and treatment outcomes in individuals with a PDA, the epidemiology and outcomes of IE, particularly in association with PDA, and the rationale and evidence for closure of the very small PDA.

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