At the St. Louis Children’s and Washington University Heart Center, we are experts at diagnosing and treating pulmonary hypertension in children. Our team uses the latest technology to keep your child’s heart healthy.
What Is Pulmonary Hypertension and What Causes It?
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in a child’s pulmonary (lung) arteries and can be caused by a number of reasons. For instance, it can be linked to certain forms of congenital heart disease and is not infrequently seen in children with chronic lung disease of prematurity.
Often, however, there is no obvious cause (idiopathic). Symptoms can depend on your child’s age and cause. Babies may present with poor growth while older children might have trouble exercising, feel short of breath or experience fainting spells.
Expert Care for Pulmonary Hypertension at The Heart Center
Pulmonary hypertension can affect a child’s heart and lungs, as well as other systems. Consequently, we have a large team of caregivers to help, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, cardio-thoracic surgeons, pharmacists, specialized nurse practitioners, therapists, social workers and dieticians. We are experienced in providing complete care to a child with pulmonary hypertension including the use of the many specialized medications used specifically to treat the disease.
While most pulmonary hypertension in children can be treated with medical therapy, when medicines fail, we offer surgical options to help. We are the nation’s leading center for performing Potts shunts in children with pulmonary hypertension. This innovative procedure helps relieve pressure upon the heart and can provide significant relief to a struggling child. Finally, we are one of the largest centers in the world for pediatric lung transplantation, a therapy that can be needed in children with severe disease.