During a 23-month period, 25 premature infants underwent ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus performed in the neonatal intensive care unit utilizing a limited posterolateral muscle-retracting incision. This approach afforded adequate exposure with minimal surgical time and trauma. All infants manifested severe respiratory distress and congestive heart failure. Both standard and contrast echocardiographic studies were used for noninvasive preoperative evaluation. Echocardiographic study proved to be a highly reliable and sensitive indicator of ductal patency. Eight infants (32 percent) died at 8 to 225 days of age. The primary cause of death was progressive pulmonary disease with subsequent failure of multiple organ systems. Seventeen (68 percent) of the 25 infants survived to leave the hospital. Advantages of ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus in the neonatal intensive care unit include the elimination of problems of transportation (thermoregulation, ventilation, and loss of lines) and continuity of ongoing care and monitoring. The standard facilities of the neonatal intensive care unit proved completely satisfactory for ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus. Ligation in the neonatal intensive care unit is suggested to minimize potential complications of care in the operating room and transport of these critically ill infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine