Patent ductus arteriosus symptoms vary with the size of the defect and whether the baby is full-term or premature. A small PDA might cause no signs or symptoms and go undetected for some time — even until adulthood. A large PDA can cause signs of heart failure soon after birth.

Your baby's doctor might first suspect a heart defect during a regular checkup after hearing a heart murmur while listening to your baby's heart through a stethoscope.

A large PDA found during infancy or childhood might cause:

  • Poor eating, which leads to poor growth
  • Sweating with crying or eating
  • Persistent fast breathing or breathlessness
  • Easy tiring
  • Rapid heart rate

When to see a doctor

Contact the doctor if your baby or older child:

  • Tires easily when eating or playing
  • Isn't gaining weight
  • Becomes breathless when eating or crying
  • Always breathes rapidly or is short of breath
Dec. 16, 2014

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