Portopulmonary hypertension in children: a rare but potentially lethal and under-recognized disease

PVRI Member Authors: Berman Rosenzweig, Usha Krishnan


Portopulmonary hypertension (PoPH) is defined by the combination of portal hypertension and precapillary pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Very little is known about this process in pediatric patients but prognosis is generally poor. We review our institutional experience and report on five patients with pediatric PoPH. The median age of PoPH diagnosis was six years and PAH was 14 years. PAH diagnosis was made by echocardiogram in all patients, four of whom also had cardiac catheterization. The median mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) was 48.5 mmHg (interquartile range [IQR] = 46–60) with a median pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRi) of 9 WU*M2 (IQR = 8–22). All were acute pulmonary vasodilator testing non-responsive. All patients received targeted therapies. Three of five patients (60%) died despite an evidence-based approach to care. Of those who died, timing from the PoPH diagnosis to death ranged from three days to three years. Based upon our limited experience, PoPH is a disorder with significant mortality in childhood and challenges in treatment. Future research, focused on screening and early targeted treatment strategies, may alter the current dismal prognosis for these children.

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Pulmonary Hypertension


Jennifer Tingo, Erika B. Rosenzweig, Steven Lobritto, Usha S. Krishnan

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 7: No 3 cover image

September 2017

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 7: No 3

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