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Congenit Heart Dis. 2013 Nov-Dec;8(6):500-12. doi: 10.1111/chd.12143. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Management of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants--where do we stand?

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants is a controversial topic in the management of preterm neonates. There are no generally accepted guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of PDA, and few publications have covered the whole topic or have been conclusively summarized to give a proper direction for the treating physician. Major issues remain to be clarified, both with respect to diagnosis and treatment. The definition of hemodynamic significance varies because of different use of echocardiographic criteria and uncertainty about the role of biomarkers. The detailed risks and benefits of available treatment alternatives are still under investigation. There has been a general shift in the management of PDA in preterm neonates from the "aggressive approach" to a more "conservative approach," but the effects of this strategy on morbidity in a longer time perspective are not fully known. An individualized therapeutic strategy with special emphasis on identification of hemodynamically significance seems to be the way forward. In this review we put forward the scientific background in favor of a seemingly growing body of evidence against active treatment, but we raise caution against shying away from all forms of treatment or instituting them too late. Finally, we try to integrate the current knowledge into suggestions for the management of PDA in premature infants.


Biomarkers; Duct Ligation; Echocardiography; Indomethacin; Patent Ductus Arteriosus; Preterm

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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