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The ductus arteriosus is a fetal blood vessel that closes soon after birth. In patent ductus arteriosus this blood vessel remains open. This allows a portion of oxygenated blood from the left heart to flow back to the lungs by following the ductus arteriosus into the pulmonary artery. This condition leads to a reduction in oxygenated blood, can weaken the heart and ultimately lead to heart failure and other complications depending on its severity.
Heart with open ductus arteriosus
This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.