New nonsurgical repair of common heart defect in premature babies is shown to be effective

Using ultrasound waves, experts have developed a minimally invasive, transcatheter procedure for premature infant patient ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure. This procedure can be performed safely with a high success rate in premature babies only a few days after birth. The study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions states:

"Before birth, a fetus' blood does not need to go to its lungs to get oxygenated because the mother's own blood circulation supplies oxygen. Key to this process is the ductus arteriosus, a connection between the heart's two major arteries that allows the fetus' blood to bypass its lungs. After birth, however, the baby needs to breathe on its own, so this connection naturally closes. When closure fails, patent ductus arteriosus ensues, leading to difficulty with breathing and feeding, brain hemorrhages and death of premature infants in some cases.

Evan M. Zahn, MD, an expert in congenital heart disease and director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program, and pediatric cardiac surgeon Alistair Phillips, MD, co-director of the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program, developed a minimally invasive, transcatheter procedure for premature infant PDA closure. Guided by ultrasound waves, the physician guides a catheter through a vein in the leg to the heart and closes the hole. The procedure can be performed at the bedside in the medical center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and takes only a few minutes."

h/t to MedicalXpress

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