Functional classification of pulmonary hypertension in children: Report from the PVRI pediatric taskforce, Panama 2011

Pulm Circ. 2011 Aug 2;1(2):280-285. doi: 10.4103/2045-8932.83445.


The members of the Pediatric Task Force of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI) were aware of the need to develop a functional classification of pulmonary hypertension in children. The proposed classification follows the same pattern and uses the same criteria as the Dana Point pulmonary hypertension specific classification for adults. Modifications were necessary for children, since age, physical growth and maturation influences the way in which the functional effects of a disease are expressed. It is essential to encapsulate a child's clinical status, to make it possible to review progress with time as he/she grows up, as consistently and as objectively as possible. Particularly in younger children we sought to include objective indicators such as thriving, need for supplemental feeds and the record of school or nursery attendance. This helps monitor the clinical course of events and response to treatment over the years. It also facilitates the development of treatment algorithms for children. We present a consensus paper on a functional classification system for children with pulmonary hypertension, discussed at the Annual Meeting of the PVRI in Panama City, February 2011.