3 years ago

Current understanding and perioperative management of pediatric pulmonary hypertension

Gregory J. Latham, Delphine Yung

Summary

Pediatric pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a complex disease with multiple, diverse etiologies affecting the premature neonate to the young adult. Pediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), whether idiopathic or associated with congenital heart disease, is the most commonly discussed form of pediatric PH, as it is progressive and lethal. However, neonatal forms of PH are vastly more frequent, and while most cases are transient, the risk of morbidity and mortality in this group deserves recognition. PH due to left heart disease is another subset increasingly recognized as an important cause of pediatric PH. One aspect of pediatric PH is very clear: anesthetizing the child with PH is associated with a significantly heightened risk of morbidity and mortality. It is therefore imperative that anesthesiologists who care for children with PH have a firm understanding of the pathophysiology of the various forms of pediatric PH, the impact of anesthesia and sedation in the setting of PH, and anesthesiologists’ role as perioperative experts from preoperative planning to postoperative disposition. This review summarizes the current understanding of pediatric PH physiology, preoperative risk stratification, anesthetic risk, and intraoperative considerations relevant to the underlying pathophysiology of various forms of pediatric PH.

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