What is the significance of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in the history of medicine?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Luke K Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Answer

Galen initially described the ductus arteriosus in the early first century. Harvey undertook further physiologic study in fetal circulation. However, it was not until 1888 that Munro conducted the dissection and ligation of the ductus arteriosus in an infant cadaver, and it would be another 50 years before Robert E. Gross successfully ligated a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in a 7-year-old child. [1] This was a landmark event in the history of surgery and heralded the true beginning of the field of congenital heart surgery. Catheter-based closure of the structure was first performed in 1971.

See also Patent Ductus Arteriosus Surgery and Eisenmenger Syndrome.


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