Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) defect

The ductus arteriosus is a normal part of a fetus’s circulation. It is a blood vessel that connects the two large arteries coming out of the heart: the aorta and the pulmonary artery. With the baby’s first breath, the lungs fill with air and become the source of oxygen for the newborn once the umbilical cord is cut. At that moment, blood from the right ventricle changes course and begins to flow to the lungs. The ductus is no longer necessary for diverting blood from the lungs. Some blood from the aorta may cross the PDA to also help fill the lungs. In some children, the ductus does not close or remains partially open.

When the ductus does not close within the first few days of life, it is called a persistently Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Patent means open.1


When a patient has a PDA, the following symptoms can occur:

A. If the PDA is small, there might not be any symptoms, therefore some patients will not be diagnosed until later in childhood.1

B. If the PDA is of moderate size, children may show nonspecific symptoms such as:
  • Tiredness and Sweating1
C. If the PDA is big, children suffer from the blood volume overloading the heart and lungs. They can show:
  • Strong and forceful pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Poor feeding habits
  • Shortness of breath
  • Poor growth1

Closure of the PDA

A transcatheter closure procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option available for patients. The closure is performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory, a cath lab. A thin tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin area and guided to the heart. The size and type of the PDA is determined by the doctor. Once completed, a PDA occluder can be positioned.

The Occlutech PDA occluder has a flat disc with a champagne cork-like shape, the main part of which is called a shank. It collapses down to fit into the catheter. When ejected, the occluder returns to its original shape. The flat disc is designed to prevent protrusion to the aorta and the shank part is designed to allow stable anchorage inside the ductus. Once in place, your physician will confirm the proper placement before releasing the occluder and withdrawing the catheter.2

The device is now in the correct position and the defect is closed. In most cases only a pressure bandage is required to close the access point in the groin. After a few months, the device will be covered by a thin layer of cells, then covered by the heart’s tissue. Over time the opening should be completely covered.2

Things to think about

If you or your child experience unexpected symptoms after the procedure such as dizziness, pain, sudden weakness and rapid heartbeat, immediately seek medical help.2

Occluders and airports

The device will not set-off any metal detectors at an airport security scan.2

If you have additional questions or need additional information, please contact Occlutech’s service center via email:


PDA procedure

Patent Ductus Arteriosus

1. A heart with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

2. Closing the PDA defect

3. Occlutech PDA device in position

PDA Occluder

The Occlutech PDA Occluder has been developed specifically for the minimally invasive, transcatheter closure of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). PDA is a congenital abnormality of the heart in which blood is shunted from the aorta (high pressure vessel) through the ductus arteriosus into the pulmonary artery (lower pressure vessel) resulting in fluid buildup in the lungs. The device is made of braided Nitinol threads. Nitinol is a metal alloy of nickel and titanium with specific features. Each Occlutech PDA Occluder consists of an aortic disk connected to a conical-shaped shank. It is designed to accommodate different PDA anatomies, the Occlutech PDA Occluder is available in several sizes, each with either a standard (short), or long shank. Polyethylene (PET) patches inside the device support the closure of the defect.2
Content references:
  1. Campbell M. Natural history of patent ductus arteriosus. Br Heart J. 1968; 30: 4–13
  2. P17F03.114.02 ; Occlutech PDA Instructions for use