Congenital cardiovascular abnormalities remain a major cause of infant mortality. The incidence of congenital cardiovascular defects approximate 0.3% to 0.8% of all births. MacMahon et al1 estimate that 25% of infants with major cardiovascular defects will die within the first month of life, and that 60% will die within the first year.
Isolated patent ductus arteriosus, a readily corrected defect, accounts for about 15% of all congenital cardiovascular anomalies. During the first year of life, approximately 15% of patients with patent ductus arteriosus will develop either overt signs of cardiac failure, cardiomegaly, electrocardiographic abnormalities, repeated respiratory tract infection, dyspnea, or evidence of retarded growth.2
The mortality of elective surgical closure of a patent ductus arteriosus has been shown to be extremely low,3 and the value of operation in infancy has been increasingly recognized. Indeed, procrastination because of age or size in infants with congestive heart failure secondary to