Advances in the diagnosis and management of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Jun;56(3):579-600, Table of Contents. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2009.04.004.


Rapid evaluation of a neonate who is cyanotic and in respiratory distress is essential for achieving a good outcome. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) can be a primary cause or a contributing factor to respiratory failure, particularly in neonates born at 34 weeks or more of gestation. PPHN represents a failure of normal postnatal adaptation that occurs at birth in the pulmonary circulation. Rapid advances in therapy in recent years have led to a remarkable decrease in mortality for the affected infants. Infants who survive PPHN are at significant risk for long-term hearing and neurodevelopmental impairments, however. This review focuses on the diagnosis, recent advances in management, and recommendations for the long-term follow-up of infants who have PPHN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Contraindications
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / complications
  • Nitric Oxide / therapeutic use
  • Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome* / etiology
  • Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome* / therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods*


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Nitric Oxide