Data concerning the prevalence, risk factors, and prognostic significance of hemoptysis in pediatric pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are scarce. A Dutch national cohort of 74 children with either idiopathic or heritable PAH (IPAH/HPAH, n = 43) or PAH associated with congenital heart disease (PAH-CHD, n = 31) were followed from 1993 to 2012. During a median follow-up of 3.5 years (range 0.1 to 19.2), hemoptysis occurred in 13 children (17.6%). The hemoptysis event rate was 9.9 per 100 patient-years, equally divided between IPAH/HPAH and PAH-CHD (p = 0.824). The median age at first hemoptysis was 12.5 years, and the median time since PAH diagnosis to first hemoptysis was 6.1 years. Patients with hemoptysis had longer time since PAH diagnosis (p = 0.001) and more frequently used anticoagulant therapy (p = 0.006). Univariate Cox regression analysis indicated that older age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01 to 1.30, p = 0.031), World Health Organization functional class IV (HR 0.28, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.95, p = 0.042), higher mean pulmonary arterial pressure (HR 1.04, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.07, p = 0.028), and higher indexed pulmonary vascular resistance (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.15, p = 0.009), all at the time of PAH diagnosis, were associated with increased risk of hemoptysis during follow-up. Ten of 13 patients with hemoptysis died or underwent (heart-) lung transplantation; in 6 patients, this was directly related to hemoptysis. In conclusion, the occurrence of hemoptysis in pediatric IPAH/HPAH and PAH-CHD increases with time since diagnosis, is a serious condition, and is, in case of life-threatening hemoptysis, associated with poor outcome.
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