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Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of transcatheter embolisation of a patent ductus arteriosus using an Amplatzer vascular plug (Amplatzer Medical UK) in six dogs.

Methods: The Amplatzer vascular plug is a self-expandable, cylindrical device attached to a delivery cable. In all the dogs, the device was delivered transvenously. Successful device implantation was defined as firm anchorage of the device squarely within the distal part of the ductus arteriosus with no intra- or postoperative dislodgement. Successful occlusion of the ductus arteriosus occurred if a disappearance of the continuous murmur was achieved 24 hours after placement of the Amplatzer vascular plug.

Results: The age of the dogs ranged from 16 weeks to 7·5 years. Their weights ranged from 2·9 to 27·6 kg (median 6 kg). Two dogs had congestive heart failure before embolisation. Successful device implantation was achieved in all dogs. Successful occlusion of the ductus arteriosus was achieved in four of the six dogs. Complications included mild lameness, residual shunting, and bruising and pruritus around the surgical wound site. At follow-up, two dogs had a continuous murmur and one required treatment for congestive heart failure.

Clinical Significance: This technique may represent a clinically effective and less expensive alternative to the use of an Amplatzer duct occluder (Amplatzer Medical UK) in dogs with medium-sized patent ductus arteriosus. Further investigations are required to fully evaluate its efficacy and safety in various sizes and types of patent ductus arteriosus, and to determine the optimal device size in relation to the size of the ductus.