Pulmonology

Boston Children's Hospital is a leading destination for the treatment of serious childhood lung and respiratory problems, including severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, and congenital defects. Our department of pulmonary and respiratory diseases is among the largest in the United States and has been named one of the best programs of its kind in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Each year, our internationally recognized physicians, surgeons, and nurses care for more than 12,000 patients and perform more than 400 surgical procedures, including lung transplants. Our team of specialists is also at the forefront of lung disease research, ensuring that your child has access to the latest treatments and technology.

We understand better than anyone that serious lung diseases can be frightening for children and families alike. While we're known for our science-driven approach, our doctors never forget that your child is a child -- not just a patient. Every step of the way, from the moment of diagnosis through long-term follow-up, we provide compassionate support to your entire family and do everything we can to make you feel as calm and comfortable as possible.

Conditions We Treat

Our 10 specialized clinical programs treat the full range of chronic and acute lung and respiratory diseases in children, including:

  • Chronic conditions. Cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and allergies, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease.
  • Lung disorders. Congenital malformations, bronchiopulmonary dysplasia, airway obstruction, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, hypoxemia (low blood oxygen), pulmonary vein stenosis.
  • Lung infections. Pneumonia, pulmonary mycobacteria, tuberculosis, pertussis, bronchiolitis.
  • Sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, narcolepsy.

Some of our notable programs and centers include:

  • The Center for Healthy Infant Lung Development (CHILD), which provides comprehensive treatment to newborns, infants, and children with lung disease. The center is one of the largest in the world dedicated to the care of infants who experience breathing difficulties such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, apnea, and wheezing.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis Center, one of the oldest and largest cystic fibrosis centers in the United States. Caring for more than 500 children and adults each year, we provide services ranging from evaluation and diagnosis to treatment and patient education.
  • The Lung Transplant Program, where we evaluate infants, children, and adolescents who are potential candidates for a lung transplant. Since the program's inception in 1990, our surgeons have performed over 85 single, double, and heart-lung transplants in patients with end-stage lung diseases.
  • The Severe Asthma Clinic, an innovative program in which we evaluate children with severe asthma over the course of several days and then recommend strategies for managing their condition.
  • The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders treats children with all forms of sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, nighttime hypoxia (drops in oxygen levels during sleep) and hypoventilation (abnormally elevated carbon dioxide levels). We also treat children of all ages for a broad variety of sleep disorders, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, awakening in the morning, excessive daytime sleepiness; sleep walking and night terrors; narcolepsy, and more.

Our Family-Centered Approach

We provide family-centered care delivered by a collaborative team of experts. Our teams include not only experienced pediatric pulmonologists and pulmonary nurses, but also respiratory and physical therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and specialists from departments across the hospital. We also work closely with physicians in your home country to coordinate the ongoing care of your child.

We know the family is the most important source of emotional support for children, and that's why we view family members as a vital component of each child's healthcare team. Families are always welcome on the patient care unit and are encouraged to comfort and soothe their children. And when they're away from the units, family members may call any time to speak with the child's nurse.

Research and Innovation

Boston Children's Hospital is committed to advancing the understanding of lung disease through scientific and clinical research. The department of pulmonary and respiratory diseases is actively involved in several clinical research projects, in areas including sleep disturbances in children, the basic mechanisms of asthma, inflammation in lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, and injuries to the lung during growth.

Notably, our cystic fibrosis center has been designated a Therapeutics Development Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is currently investigating new treatments for the disorder in a variety of clinical trials.