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Patent ductus arteriosus

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patent ductus arteriosus

(Science: cardiology, embryology, paediatrics) A condition where the normal channel between the pulmonary artery and the aorta fails to close at birth.

In normal foetal circulation the blood bypasses the pulmonary circuit since oxygen and nutrients are acquired through the placenta. After birth, this channel normally closes in response to ventilation of the lungs.

Those who are affected may demonstrate poor growth, shortness of breath and rapid respiratory rate.

diagnosis is by echocardiogram and treatment involves the use of indomethacin to stimulate ductus arteriosus closure. Surgical ligation will be required in those cases unresponsive to medical management.