Prostaglandin E2 was given orally to 59 infants with ductus dependent congenital heart disease, and intravenous infusions were substituted for varying periods in 27 of them. An additional three neonates received intravenous treatment alone. Mean oral maintenance dose was 27 micrograms/kg per hour and the mean intravenous dose was 0.005 micrograms/kg per minute. Mean duration of treatment was 49 days (range 16 hours to 272 days). Oral treatment was almost always effective and was especially suitable for long term use. Low dose intravenous treatment was readily substituted when indicated. Complications were usually 'minor'. Growth of the infants and of their pulmonary arteries facilitated later surgical management.
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