In this study, ultrasound Doppler color flow mapping systems were utilized to examine flow in the pulmonary artery in 31 premature and term infants (aged 4 hours to 9 months) with patent ductus arteriosus accompanying respiratory distress syndrome, as an isolated lesion, or with patent ductus in association with other cyanotic or acyanotic congenital heart disorders. The flow mapping patterns were compared with those of a control population of 15 infants who did not have patent ductus arteriosus. In unconstricted ductus arteriosus, the flow from the aorta into the pulmonary artery was detected in late systole and early diastole and was distributed along the superior leftward lateral wall of the main pulmonary artery from the origin of the left pulmonary artery back in a proximal direction toward the pulmonary valve. In constricted patent ductus arteriosus, or especially in a ductus in association with cyanotic heart disease, the position of the ductal shunt in the pulmonary artery was more variable, often directed centrally or medially. Waveform spectral Doppler sampling could be performed in specific positions guided by the Doppler flow map to verify the phasic characteristics of the ductal shunt on spectral and audio outputs. Shunts through a very small patent ductus arteriosus were routinely detected in this group of infants, and right to left ductal shunts could also be verified by the Doppler flow mapping technique. This study suggests substantial promise for real-time two-dimensional Doppler echocardiographic flow mapping for evaluation of patent ductus arteriosus in infants.