Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)
Abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries that brings blood from the heart to the lungs. Severe PPHN is estimated to occur in 2 per 1,000 of live born term infants, and some degree of pulmonary hypertension complicates the course of more than 10% of all neonates with respiratory failure.
How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed?
Infants with severely elevated pulmonary pressures present with respiratory and/or cardiac failure. Clinical symptoms as well as echocardiography support the diagnosis. Gold standard diagnosis is made by cardiac catheterization.
How is pulmonary hypertension treated?
Infants require inhaled medications, such as oxygen and nitric oxide, to maintain normal blood oxygen saturation levels and to appear pink. Infants require varying degrees of heart and lung support; some may need inhaled medications only from a non-invasive nasal cannula, and others will require support on a ventilator. Infants with severe pulmonary hypertension may qualify for ECMO.