Echocardiographic diagnosis: pitfalls in the premature infant with a large patent ductus arteriosus

J Pediatr. 1978 Mar;92(3):474-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(78)80452-1.


Thirty-one infants with clinical and radiographic evidence of a large left-to-right shunt across a patent ductus arteriosus underwent echocardiographic study to determine the magnitude of shunting. Seven patients were found to have a normal-left atrial dimensions and a normal left atrial/aortic root dimension at the time when physical and roentgenographic findings of a large PDA were most pronounced. In contrast, left ventricular end diastolic dimensions were excessive in these infants. After ductal closure (four, surgery; two, indomethacin, one, spontaneous) the left ventricular end diastolic dimension fell to the normal range. Optimal echocardiographic accuracy in infants with PDA should combine analysis of both atrial and ventricular dimensions; the former, used alone, may be misleading.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / diagnosis*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / drug therapy
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / surgery
  • Echocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature


  • Indomethacin