Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Ductus ateriosus extends from the main pulmonary artery to the descending aorta, in fetal life it shunts blood from the pulmonary venous circulation to the systemic circulation. At birth increased systemic arterial oxygen concentration leads to closure by 1 week of age. A PDA can be life sustaining in cases with obstructed left venticle outflow or decreased pulmonary blood flow. It causes a left to right shunt due to the systemic arterial pressure being greater than the pulmonary arterial pressure.
Larger PDAs cause shunt vascularity and dilation of left atrium, left ventricle, and aorta. The prominent aortic arch in PDA helps to distinguish it from ASD and VSD which have less prominent or normal aortic arches.
See References Chapter.
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