by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Pulmonary hypertension is an abnormal increase in the pressure of blood flow in the arteries of the lungs. As a result, the right side of the heart needs to pump harder to move blood against the pressure. If left untreated, the right side of the heart can fail.
This problem may be caused by:
Pulmonary hypertension can also be inherited. This is called familial pulmonary hypertension. In other people, the cause is not known.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood tests may be done.
Images may be taken of your child's body. This can be done with:
Your child's lung function may be tested. This can be done with pulmonary function tests.
Underlying causes will be treated. In others, symptoms will be managed with medicines, such as:
Oxygen therapy may also be needed to raise the level of oxygen in the blood.
Children who are not helped by these methods may need a lung transplant.
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Nair J, Lakshminrusimha S. Update on PPHN: mechanisms and treatment. Semin Perinatol. 2014 Mar;38(2):78-91.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/persistent-pulmonary-hypertension-of-the-newborn-pphn. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Pulmonary hypertension. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/p/pulmonary-hypertension. Accessed March 9, 2021.
Pulmonary hypertension. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at:
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Accessed March 9, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/9/2021