|patent ductus arteriosus||medical dictionary|
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.
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.
(27 Sep 1997)
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