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|How Is It Treated?
If the Patent Ductus Arteriosus remains open in a newborn, pharmaceutical treatment with indomethacin or ibuprofen may be used to encourage its closure. If the PDA still does not close, it is recommended that it be closed either by a cardiac catheterization procedure or surgery.
For small to medium size PDAs, the PDA is permanently occluded using coils of spring wire or other devices during a catheterization procedure (see illustration, right). For larger PDAs and PDAs in small infants, the PDA is closed surgically by means of ligation and, in some cases, division (see animation, left). Ligation is the tying off of the ductus (PDA) with a "ligature" (or two ligatures) made of a synthetic material. The vessel may or may not be divided after ligation.
With some congenital heart defects, such as D-type Transposition of the Great Arteries and Pulmonary atresia it is necessary to keep the PDA open in order to ensure the circulation of oxygenated blood to the body tissues. This may be achieved through the use of medications (prostaglandin E1) or through a catheterization procedure in which a stent is inserted to keep the PDA open.
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