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Echocardiographic prediction of patent ductus arteriosus in need of therapeutic intervention

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Abstract Aim: 

To evaluate the efficacy of various echocardiographic markers in predicting a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in need of treatment. Methods: 

Forty-five preterm infants with a mean (SD) gestational age of 27.7 (1.9) weeks underwent echocardiography at a postnatal age of 24 ± 6 and 72 ± 6 h. Four echocardiographic markers were studied: ductus diameter, ductal flow Doppler curves, the left atrial to aortic root (LA/Ao) ratio and Doppler pixels representing ductal shunting. Results: 

Twenty-eight infants had a PDA with a detectable left-to-right shunt. Of these, 12 (43%) were treated for a shunt through the PDA. Ductal diameter was the most accurate echocardiographic marker when it came to predicting a significant shunt, with a sensitivity of 89%, a specificity of 70%, a positive likelihood ratio of 2.97 and a negative likelihood ratio of 0.16 at the age of 72 h. The efficacy of the method at 72 h of age was 84%. The corresponding efficacy of the pulsatile Doppler curve was 72%, percentage of green colour pixels 63% and the LA/Ao ratio 53%. Conclusion: 

Ductus diameter appears to be the most important variable in determining the need for therapeutic intervention for PDA in preterm infants.

Keywords: Colour Doppler echocardiography; Patent ductus arteriosus; Prediction; Very low birthweight infant

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Paediatrics, Halmstad Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden 2: Department of Paediatrics, Skåne University Hospital and Skåne University, Skåne, Sweden 3: General Practice and Public Health, Halland County Council, Falkenberg, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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