Pulmonary Hypertension Program Overview

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Contact the Pulmonary Hypertension Program

Dr. Mary Mullen, MD, PhD, Associate Director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Program, describes how her lifelong passion for medicine is enriched by the collaborative, family-centered culture of care at the Boston Children’s Heart Center.

Fortunately, there is a lot of good news to share about pulmonary hypertension, a condition in which blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (the pulmonary arteries) is abnormally high. A little more than a decade ago, doctors’ understanding of this condition was crude, and effective therapy was more of a hope than a reality. But thanks to advances in basic science and clinical research, much better therapies have been developed, and nearly every year brings new treatments for this disorder.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Boston Children’s Hospital - part of the #1 ranked Heart Center - is one of the leading pulmonary hypertension programs in the United States.

What is pulmonary hypertension?

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (the pulmonary arteries) is abnormally high. As the pressure builds, your heart's right ventricle has to work harder to pump blood through your lungs. This eventually causes your heart muscle to weaken and eventually fail completely.

Unlike other congenital heart conditions, there is no surgical treatment or “cure” for pulmonary hypertension. But treatments are available that can help lessen symptoms and improve your child’s quality of life.

Learn more about pulmonary hypertension and how Boston Children’s cares for children with pulmonary hypertension.

Our services and expertise

Our program provides comprehensive diagnosis and individualized treatment plans for children and adults with pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Managing pulmonary hypertension requires the combined expertise of many specialists. Our team includes cardiologists, radiologists and pulmonologists who are experts in PH, as well as specially trained nurses who provide helpful assistance and support for families. With particularly difficult cases, we do not hesitate to consult with experts at other hospitals. Our goal is to provide the best care possible to our patients. Please contact us today for a consultation or second opinion.

Advancing our understanding of PH

Researchers at Boston Children's are studying how to prevent and treat pulmonary hypertension. We have participated in prospective trials of inhaled nitric oxide, sildenafil, bosentan and ambrisentan. Current therapeutic trials include evaluation of a new, more efficient way of delivering inhaled iloprost, and a study of the long-term effects of sildenafil and ambrisentan.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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