Diagnose

Pulmonary hypertension is a disorder of the arteries in the lungs that results in elevated blood pressure in the lungs and strain on the heart. Sometimes, pulmonary hypertension has no known cause, but it occurs more frequently as a consequence of another disease, such as congenital heart disease, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, scleroderma, restrictive lung disease or sickle cell disease.

Because pulmonary hypertension affects the heart and lungs, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta offers comprehensive care through a dedicated team of specialists, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, pediatric nurse practitioners, social workers and researchers.

Symptoms and signs of pulmonary hypertension may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain

Treat

If pulmonary hypertension is being caused by another condition, treatment of that underlying disease may result in improvement or resolution of the pulmonary hypertension. While there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension that occurs on its own, there are treatments available to help relieve the symptoms your child may have. Our team will design a treatment plan to fit your child's specific needs.

Services We Offer

Weekly multidisciplinary clinic

  • Our Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic is open every Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Egleston campus.

Inpatient consult service

  • Our team sees patients who are hospitalized with pulmonary hypertension. We work closely with the unit, managing each patient to determine the best plan of care. Whether it is our first time meeting the patient or if the patient is well-known to our team, we know seamless care is important to all patients with pulmonary hypertension.

Teen transition program

  • We assist teenage patients, starting at 11 years old, to become more independent over time so that they are ready to transition to an appropriate center that provides care for adults with pulmonary hypertension. It is a step-by-step process that takes time and we are there to help them along the way.

Annual teen clinic

  • We host an annual Teen Clinic that includes lunch and games, and introduces teens with pulmonary hypertension to connect. Pulmonary hypertension can often make patients and their families feel isolated, so this clinic can help families overcome that feeling.

Newsletters

  • Twice a year, we send newsletters to our patients and their families with helpful information and tips to make it easier to manage a complex disease.

Our Unique Approach

Because our team uses a multidisciplinary approach, you will meet a social worker, nurse practitioner, pulmonologist and cardiologist during every clinic visit. Together, we come up with the best plan of care for each child and make sure that this plan is shared with your child’s other clinicians, such as their pediatrician, so that everyone is aligned.

What to expect before your outpatient clinic visit

Before your first visit, we will work with you and other medical providers to gather a comprehensive history of your child's health so that we are informed at the time of your visit. We want to be sure we are familiar with your child's condition prior to their first visit.

What to expect during your visit

Our team will perform the following, as needed:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Six-minute walk test

After testing, you will meet with the pulmonary hypertension team to discuss results and create a plan of care. Referrals for additional testing, such as cardiac catheterization, MRI or CT scan, may be made when appropriate.

What to expect after your visit

Our team will be in frequent communication following your visit to make sure the treatment plan is providing the intended benefits, that follow-up plans are in place and to answer any other questions you may have.

Because our priority is your child's health, we want to make sure we are available for you to contact at any time.

Meet the Team

Pulmonary Hypertension Team