What is the prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Luke K Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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The estimated incidence of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in US children born at term is between 0.02% and 0.006% of live births. This incidence is increased in children who are born prematurely (20% in premature infants > 32 weeks' gestation up to 60% in those < 28 weeks' gestation), children with a history of perinatal asphyxia, and, possibly, children born at high altitude. In addition, up to 30% of low birth weight infants (< 2500 g) develop a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Siblings also have an increased incidence. Perinatal asphyxia usually only delays the closure of the ductus, and, over time, the ductus typically closes without specific therapy.

As an isolated lesion, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) represents 5-10% of all congenital heart lesions. It occurs in approximately 0.008% of live premature births.

No data support a race predilection. However, there is a female preponderance (female-to-male ratio, 2:1) if the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is not associated with other risk factors. In patients in whom the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is associated with a specific teratogenic exposure, such as congenital rubella, the incidence is equal between the sexes.

Occasionally, an older child is referred with the late discovery of a typical ductus arteriosus murmur (eg, machinery or continuous murmur).

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