What are the complications of untreated patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Luke K Kim, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Complications of untreated patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) include bacterial endocarditis, late congestive heart failure (CHF), and the development of pulmonary vascular obstructive disease. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) can complicate other circulatory or ventilatory abnormalities, such as the following:

  • Aortic rupture

  • Eisenmenger physiology

  • Left heart failure

  • Myocardial ischemia

  • Necrotizing enterocolitis

  • Pulmonary hypertension

  • Right heart hypertrophy and failure

Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) should be used to maintain patency of the ductus arteriosus once it is established that a ductal dependent lesion exists. However, PGE is a pulmonary vasodilator and could cause exacerbation of CHF by means of increasing pulmonary blood flow.

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