Background Echocardiography evaluation of ductus arteriosus (DA) diameter or DA flow pattern is a common guide of early-targeted treatment for significant DA in preterm infants.
Objective To determine the association between DA diameter and DA flow pattern.
Methods 197 echocardiographic determinations of DA diameter and pattern flow in premature babies (<30 weeks), analysed retrospectively. DA was imaged by standard procedure in the Royal North Shore Hospital. Four flow patterns were defined (hypertensive, growing, pulsatile and closing). Data were analysed by analysis of variance, including linear trend.
Results Mean ductal diameter was significantly different between the four groups (F = 37.5, p = 0.0001), with a statistically significant linear trend (F = 112.1, R = −0.63, p<0.0001) from pattern 1 (hypertensive pattern) to pattern 4 (closing pattern), with smaller diameter in closing pattern and larger diameter in hypertensive pattern (table). 28 cases were unclassified.
Conclusions There is a clear association between DA diameter and DA flow pattern. The clinical significance of this result deserves further evaluation in a prospective study.
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