Pulmonary Hypertension Child



This problem may be caused by:

  • Birth defects that affect the heart, such as septal defects and leaky heart valves
  • A deformity of the chest wall (pectus excavatum)
  • Conditions like scleroderma , sickle cell disease , lupusand HIV
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Blood clots in the lungs

Pulmonary hypertension can also be inherited. This is called familial pulmonary hypertension. In other children, the cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Being born with a heart defect or a deformity of the chest wall
  • Having certain health problems, such as scleroderma, sickle cell disease, lupus, and HIV
  • Having heart or lung disease
  • Having a family member with pulmonary hypertension
  • Living at a high altitude



Problems may be:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue coloring of skin around mouth, hands, and feet
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Cough
  • Lack of energy
  • Fainting and lightheadedness
  • Ankle or leg swelling


The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Blood tests may be done.

Pictures may be taken of your child's heart. This can be done with:

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT scan
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiogram

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:

  • Medicine to lower blood pressure in the lungs
  • Blood thinners
  • Diuretics to remove excess fluids
  • Nitric oxide to relax the muscles in the arteries of the lungs

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 pulmonary hypertension.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.