In a preterm infant with the respiratory distress syndrome complicated by patent ductus arteriosus, continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) treatment relieved the signs of cardiac decompensation associated with left-to-right shunt. Echocardiography enabled the change in left atrial size, an indirect measure of the shunt, to be followed. In this way the rapid effect of CPAP in reducing left-to-right shunting could be monitored. This noninvasive technique could have many applications in neonatology.
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