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Managing the patent ductus arteriosus: current treatment options
  1. Anne Marie Heuchan1,
  2. Ronald I Clyman2
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne Marie Heuchan, Department of Neonatology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, G3 8SJ, UK; annemarie.heuchan{at}ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Abstract

Optimal management of the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in the premature infant remains controversial. Despite considerable historical and physiological data indicating that a persistent PDA may be harmful, robust evidence of long-term benefits or harms from treatment is lacking. This has been equated to a lack of benefit but is also a reflection of the fact that most clinical trials were designed to assess the effects of short-term (2–8 days) rather than prolonged exposure to a PDA. No clinical trials have been designed to assess the effects of prolonged exposure of persistent PDA on morbidity and mortality of very premature infants in the era of antenatal corticosteroids, surfactant and non-invasive respiratory support. Further research is required, but new insights and novel therapies are evolving, which will allow greater individual patient assessment, understanding of risk and optimisation of treatment. In this paper, we review the current literature, evidence for treatment options, including a non-interventional approach, and research directions for infants <28 weeks’ gestational age.

  • Neonatology
  • Cardiology

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