oa South African Medical Journal - Patent ductus arteriosus : a review based on 24 cases*



The patent ductus can be diagnosed with great accuracy entirely on clinical grounds. The clinical diagnosis can readily be confirmed by radiology and phonocardiography. Cardiac catheterization is used only in complicated cases and angiocardiography on very rare occasions. The long-term prognosis even of uncomplicated cases is poor, most having severe symptoms and incapacity in adult life when their responsibilities to their family are greatest. The pathology is remediable by fairly simple measures ca rrying a low mortality. Surgery should be employed in these cases whilst the patients' are young, at a time when intervention is safe and before irreversible pathological changes have occurred in the pulmonary arterial tree.


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