To provide a clinical assessment of cardiovascular dysfunction (CVD) in premature infants with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a scoring system (CVD score) was devised and correlated with blood gases, acid-base balance, and echocardiogram. The score consisted of evaluation of heart rate, quality of peripheral arterial pulsation, degree of precordial pulsation, duration of murmur and cardiothoracic ratio on chest roentgenogram. There were 116 observations made on 55 premature infants who had PDA and required medical or surgical treatment. Significant positive correlations were seen for CVD score with left atrial (LA)/aortic (Ao) ratio (p less than 0.001), left ventricular and diastolic dimension (DD) (p less than 0.001), blood pH (p less than 0.01), and blood PCO2 (p less than 0.01). The scoring system may by used as a clinical guide when echocardiogram or angiogram is not available.
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