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.
It is possible that the main title of the report Endocarditis, Infective is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
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.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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