Prostaglandins and Prostaglandin Inhibitors for Congenital Heart Defects
Normally, a blood vessel needed only for
fetal blood circulation (called the ductus arteriosus) closes off at birth.
During fetal development, this blood vessel is kept open by a naturally
occurring substance in the fetus's body called prostaglandin. At birth, fetal
production of prostaglandin decreases and the ductus arteriosus closes.
In some premature infants, this blood vessel does not close. This is
a condition called a
patent (open) ductus arteriosus. These premature
infants are given a prostaglandin inhibitor, a medicine to stimulate the
closure of this blood vessel.
Lots of people worry about atherosclerosis -- or hardening of the arteries
-- as a factor in heart
disease and stroke. But did you know that diabetes, high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity are
all major risk factors for atherosclerosis?
Take the case of Barbie Perkins-Cooper, 57, a writer from Mount Pleasant,
S.C. When she discovered that she had type 2
diabetes, she also discovered that she was at risk for atherosclerosis.
What's worse: her high cholesterol...
When an infant has certain other
congenital heart defects, a medicine (a form of
prostaglandin) is often given by vein to keep the
ductus arteriosus open. Keeping this blood vessel open allows the blood to
continue circulating until surgery or another procedure can be done to correct
the related defect and allow normal blood flow.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Larry A. Latson, MD - Pediatric Cardiology
October 11, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 11, 2011
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