PDA Closure
Heart Center

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) closures in Premature Infants

What is a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)?

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect found in the days or weeks after birth. It is one of the most common congenital heart defects occurring in premature babies. The ductus arteriosus is a normal part of fetal blood circulation before a baby is born. It’s an extra blood vessel that connects 2 arteries: the pulmonary artery and the aorta. The pulmonary artery carries blood from the heart to the lungs. The aorta carries blood from the heart to the body. Before birth, the ductus arteriosus lets blood go around (bypass) the lungs. This is because the baby gets oxygen from the mother.

All babies are born with this opening between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. But it often closes on its own shortly after birth, once the baby breathes on its own. If it stays open (patent), it is called patent ductus arteriosus. With PDA, extra blood flows to the lungs. If the PDA is large, too much blood goes to the lungs. The blood vessels and the lungs have to work much harder to handle the extra blood. This can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs. The baby can have a harder time breathing and feeding. PDA occurs twice as often in girls as in boys.

In the premature newborn, the PDA can be quite large. This can result in many organs not getting adequate blood flow due to so much being bypassed into the lungs. This can lead to major problems such as liver and kidney dysfunction, and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Click here to learn more about PDA closures.

PDA Closure in Micro-preemies using the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder

Children’s is now able to do PDA closures on the tiniest of newborns by using The Amplatzer Piccolo™ Occluder, the world's first medical device that can be implanted in the tiniest babies using a minimally invasive procedure. The Amplatzer Piccolo, a device even smaller than a small pea, now offers hope to premature infants and newborns who need corrective treatment, and who may be non-responsive to medical management and high risk to undergo corrective surgery.

The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is a self-expanding, wire mesh device that is inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart, where it is placed to seal the opening in the heart. It is designed to allow the physician to insert it through the aortic or pulmonary artery, as well as to retrieve and redeploy the device for optimal placement. Because the device is deployed in a minimally invasive procedure, many of the premature babies who are critically ill in the neonatal intensive care unit are able to be weaned from artificial respirator support soon after the procedure.

More information can be found at: Heart Defect Piccolo PDF Hole in Heart | Abbott U.S.

How does it work?

What are the outcomes for the Piccolo device in babies?

What makes us different?

Children’s is the only hospital in Louisiana and the Gulf Shores to use the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder device in babies as small as 500 grams (or a little over one pound).

We offer this service to any infant in need of the procedure throughout Louisiana and the Gulf South. After the procedure, the baby is monitored in our NICU overnight and returned to the referring hospital NICU typically the following day; therefore keeping the baby close to home and family.

Aubri’s life-saving PDA surgery offers hope to the tiniest premature infants
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James’ success story after life-saving PDA surgery to close a congenital heart defect
baby in onsie
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