Patent ductus arteriosus is not rare and its uncomplicated presence has always been believed to be compatible with an active and long life, but recorded instances of old people with the proved condition are very rare. In Dr. Maude Abbott's1 most recent series of 850 cases of congenital cardiac defects, uncomplicated patent ductus arteriosus is noted as having been found in eighty-four. The range of age was from 2 weeks to 66 years, though it seems fairly certain that the condition may occur even at a much older age than 66.
In 5,000 consecutive autopsies at the Massachusetts General Hospital, patency of the ductus arteriosus was found ninety-six times but in only seven patients over 1 year old; the ages of these seven were 1¼, 2, 3, 7, 44, 50 and 55 years, respectively.
The present case is reported not only because of the age of the patient, 65 years 9