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The ductus arteriosus: a refined approach!

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Sehgal A, McNamara PJ. The ductus arteriosus: a refined approach! Semin Perinatol. 2012 Apr;36(2):105-13. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2011.09.020

Although ongoing patency of the ductus arteriosus is common in small extremely preterm infants, consensus is lacking regarding its clinical significance and treatment strategies. Literature regarding likelihood of spontaneous closure, impact on neonatal morbidity and long-term outcomes, and adverse effects of intervention has led to uncertainty as to the best course of action. Enhancing the determination of hemodynamic significance and refining patient selection for therapeutic intervention will streamline the decision-making process. Targeted neonatal echocardiography performed by the clinician has gained popularity worldwide, and preliminary data show that it has the potential to optimize patient outcomes. We review the arguments for and against medical and surgical therapy, explore how targeted neonatal echocardiography used in conjunction with biomarkers may refine the treatment approach, and consider future directions in the field.