A patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is one of the best known of all birth defects. The ductus arteriosus is a part of the fetal circulation, which allows blood in the fetus to bypass the lungs until the lungs expand at the time of birth.
It normally closes soon after birth. When it remains open, or patent, blood can flow from the aorta to the pulmonary artery.
This defect over-works the heart, causes excess blood flow in the lungs, and can cause symptoms like fatigue, difficult or rapid breathing, failure to grow normally, or chronic respiratory infections. Large openings can lead to heart failure and death.
Closure of a PDA requires that a catheter be placed in both the artery and the vein. The percutaneous closure of a PDA is performed using a special closure device. The device is attached to a special catheter, similar to the catheter used during your catheterization.
The special catheter is inserted into a vein in the leg and advanced into the heart and through the defect. The device is slowly pushed out of the special catheter allowing each side of the device to open up and cover each side of the defect, like a sandwich, closing the defect.
When the device is in proper position, it is released from the special catheter. Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, becoming part of the heart. The PDA closure procedure is monitored by X-ray and ultrasound.
For more specific, detailed information regarding this or any other cardiac procedure, please call the Cardiac Cath Lab at (608)775-2233 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 52233, Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m.