Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery in the fetus. When the blood vessel does not close after birth as it should, the problem is called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
Left untreated, PDA can cause damage to the blood vessels in the lungs, called pulmonary hypertension. Infants and children may have no symptoms other than a heart murmur. If the PDA is large and allows a lot of blood to flow from the aorta to the lungs, the child may have symptoms of congestive heart failure.
Normal heart – in a healthy heart with proper blood flow, the blue droplets representing oxygen-poor blood travel to the lungs, and the red oxygen-rich droplets circulate through the body.
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) – in a heart with patent ductus arteriosus, the blood vessel connecting the aorta and pulmonary artery does not close after birth, allowing blood to improperly flow to the lungs.