What is Eisenmenger syndrome?

Also known as: ES, Eisenmenger physiology, Eisenmenger reaction.

Eisenmenger syndrome is a heart problem that develops over time (frequently adolescents/young adults), as a result of other congenital (before birth) defects in the heart (usually left heart-to-right heart shunts). When a child is born with a hole between two chambers of the heart, or some other types of defect which increases blood flow to the lungs, it can cause high blood pressure to develop in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). This causes narrowing of the blood vessels that over time leads to heart damage. When the pressure in the lung blood vessels rises high enough, the blood flow reverses, causing both insufficient blood going to the lungs (to be oxygenated), mixed oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood flowing out to the body.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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