Pulmonary Hypertension

Also known as: Secondary pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary high blood pressure

What is ​Pulmonary Hypertension?

Hypertension means high blood pressure, but in the case of pulmonary hypertension, the high pressure affects the pulmonary arteries that take blood from the heart to the lungs. As these arteries narrow, the increase in pressure makes the right side of the heart work harder causing damage to the right ventricle of the heart.

What causes pulmonary hypertension?
There are many causes of PH and some children have more than one cause. In some children no cause can be found. Children may be predisposed to pulmonary hypertension due to genetics, though this appears to be rare.  It can also occur as a complication of other heart, lung, liver or blood problem. Occasionally it can be the result of treatments for cancer, liver & kidney diseases.  In older children, conditions like sleep apnea and obesity can increase risk. Certain drugs also can lead to pulmonary hypertension.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension?
The blood flow problems from pulmonary hypertension can cause, fatigue ( often the first symptom to develop ), shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting ( particularly with exercise). As it progresses, irregular heartbeat ,chest pain, and a blue tinge to the lips can occur with worsening breathing and dizziness.

What are pulmonary hypertension care options?
While there may be no cure for PA, any underlying cause needs to be addressed first. Oxygen,  medications and/ or surgery may improve blood flow and help with symptoms of pulmonary hypertension as may certain lifestyle changes like losing weight and exercising.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 1:57:13 PM


Upcoming Events

Ventilation Assisted Children's Center (VACC) Camp

VACC Camp is a week-long sleep-away camp for children requiring ventilator assistance (tracheostomy ventilator, C-PAP, BiPAP, or oxygen to support breathing) and their families.  Learn more.

Register Online

From the Newsdesk

Li Travels all the way from Shanghai to Nicklaus Children’s for Management of his Complex Heart Condition
Li Hongyang, 37, traveled all the way from his hometown of Shanghai China to find the best possible care for his complex heart condition. What he did not expect is that he would receive his lifesaving treatment at a children’s hospital.
 
Dr. Redmond Burke Discusses Innovations in Cardiac Care Pioneered at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
Dr. Burke is the Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA) Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery with The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.