Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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About Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension


Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) occurs when there is high blood pressure in the lung circulation, which is typically a low-pressure blood vessel system. PH may be associated with a large number of permanent or short-term abnormalities.

A person may show symptoms of PH in different ways. There are many causes of PH, including heart disease, airway or lung problems, genetic factors, or premature birth. Sometimes the causes of PH are unclear, and are not always the same in children as in adults.

Commonly, there are many factors related to PH that require simultaneous and ongoing treatment by a coordinated group of care providers. The symptoms of PH can be nonspecific, but typically include shortness of breath, low energy levels, chest pain, and passing out with exercise or exertion.

We are happy to discuss diagnoses at length with you. For helpful online education we recommend the Pulmonary Hypertension Association website.

Diagnosis and testing

We often suspect diagnosis of PH through a patient's history or find it during a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram or ‘echo’). Our team of doctors is experienced in the interpretation of such ultrasounds. Cardiac catheterization is typically required as well. Our providers, who are also experienced in caring for children with pulmonary hypertension during and after catheterization, perform a wide range of interventional procedures.

At the time of diagnosis, we may require other tests, including X-Rays, CT scans, and blood work to clarify the cause of PH.

PH treatments offered

We strive to provide a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach to PH care. Our team at Vanderbilt has experience in administering and monitoring oral, intravenous, and inhaled PH therapies. We also recognize that medicines are just one part of PH care. For example, when appropriate, we are also able to coordinate genetic screening and counseling, and work with a robust PH research program at Vanderbilt.

Last Edited: December 14, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network