The aim of treating a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is to prevent complications
by closing the PDA and reversing the effects of increased blood flow to the right side of the heart.
Primarily, the treatment will be focused on the symptoms presented by the patient.
More often, small PDAs close spontaneously without any treatment. Patient with no symptoms may be monitored as outpatients. Treatment is required for children, whose PDA is large or causes other health problems. Full term babies, with the ductus arteriosus still open at the age of 1 or 2, require treatment. Premature infants have high possibilities of automatic closure of their PDAs. However, onset of respiratory distress syndrome
or other heart problems need immediate treatment.
Symptomatic patients can be treated either with medications or interventions
. Heart failure should be managed using digoxin and diuretics
. Supplementation of oxygen is required in case of hypoxia (low level of oxygen). Some patients may need support to breathe using a breathing machine called ventilator. Antibiotics are given as prophylaxis to prevent Infective endocarditis
. Diuretics and fluid restriction may be necessary.
Medications are available to help with spontaneous closure of PDA and maybe used for small sized PDA as the first choice of treatment.
When medications fail, interventional treatment is indicated. Intervention can be through cardiac catheterization