How is patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) diagnosed?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Luke K Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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The diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is almost always based on careful clinical evaluation, including physical examination showing the characteristic murmur, typical electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities, radiographic changes, and echocardiographic/Doppler findings.

Echocardiography is the primary diagnostic study used to evaluate and diagnose patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Chest radiography may provide some helpful information. Laboratory tests are generally not helpful in the workup of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Magnetic resonance angiography and cardiac computed tomography are alternative, more novel, diagnostic tools.

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