Children's Hospital Colorado

Pulmonary Hypertension

What is pediatric pulmonary hypertension?

Pediatric pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare disorder of high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs. Pulmonary blood pressure rises when arteries and capillaries in the lungs become narrowed, blocked or destroyed, making it harder for blood to flow through the lungs. Because the vessels in the lungs and heart are connected, this makes blood pressure in the heart rise and forces the heart to work harder than normal.

If the condition goes untreated, the heart has difficulty pushing against the pressure from the lungs, which may eventually lead to heart failure.

What causes pediatric PH?

In some cases, there is no underlying cause of the high blood pressure in the lungs. This type of PH is called idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). There are also genetic forms of PH, called heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (HPAH). In some cases, PH is the result of other conditions, which is known as associated pulmonary hypertension.

Causes of associated pulmonary hypertension include:

Some forms of PH will improve or resolve with proper treatment. Most forms of PH require lifelong treatment.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Jean Cavanaugh, MS

Jean Cavanaugh, MS

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Kendra Tiernan, NP

Kendra Tiernan, NP

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