Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder

Also known as: patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure, transcatheter PDA closure, non-surgical PDA closure

What is Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder?

The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is a treatment for the congenital heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Infants born with PDA have an abnormal opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery that can cause circulation problems. The opening is a normal part of a baby’s circulatory system before birth, but it usually closes shortly after birth. The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is a device used to close this opening in premature babies that can be installed with a catheter and without surgery.

What happens during the procedure?

A tiny incision is made in the baby’s leg, and a guidewire with the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder attached is placed into the body’s blood vessels through the opening. The wire is then guided to the baby’s heart through the blood vessels, where the occluder seals the PDA. Fluoroscopy and echocardiography are used to guide and position the occluder in its proper position in the PDA. 

Is any special preparation needed?

The Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is recommended for very premature babies with a low birth weight and the need for respiratory support. It is performed under general anesthesia. For babies who are good candidates for the procedure, no other special preparation is needed.

What are the risk factors?

Potential risks of the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder include bleeding, infection or movement of the occluder. It is also important to make sure the device is not blocking flow into the surrounding vessels, which can be checked with an echocardiogram before the device is released.

Reviewed by: Lourdes Prieto, MD

This page was last updated on: April 30, 2021 10:10 AM

The Heart Institute: Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery

The Heart Institute – a world leader in pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery and the care of children with congenital heart disorders – serves as a beacon to families confronting the reality of a child or newborn with a heart defect.

Learn More

The Heart Institute at Nicklaus Children's Acquires FDA-Approved Amplatzer Piccolo™ Occluder to Perform Non-Surgical Closures of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Premature Infants in its Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

May 28, 2020 – The Heart Institute now offers the recently FDA-approved Amplatzer Piccolo™ Occluder to close PDAs in very premature babies in the Cath Lab. This self-expanding, wire mesh device is designed specifically to fit within the PDA of very low weight preemies with little risk of interference with adjacent structures.