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Pulmonary hypertension
Treatment and survival in children with pulmonary arterial hypertension: the UK Pulmonary Hypertension Service for Children 2001–2006
  1. S G Haworth,
  2. A A Hislop
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Dr Alison Hislop, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK; a.hislop{at}


Objective: A retrospective study of the UK Pulmonary Hypertension Service for Children for the first 5-year period of its existence.

Design and patients: Records of 216 children with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (APAH) were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed for different diagnostic groups and for different therapies.

Results: At cardiac catheterisation only 7.4% of those with IPAH and 6% of those with APAH responded positively to vasodilator testing and so were treated with nifedipine. Others needing treatment were given continuous intravenous epoprostenol, bosentan or sildenafil singly or in combination. For IPAH survival rates were 85.6%, 79.9% and 71.9% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively, compared with a survival time of less than a year in historical untreated controls. A combination of intravenous epoprostenol with either bosentan or sildenafil, or both, appeared to achieve the best outcome. Six children underwent lung transplantation. In APAH survival rates were 92.3%, 83.8% and 56.9% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively, postoperative congenital heart disease with severe pulmonary hypertension having the worst outcome.

Conclusion: New pulmonary hypertension-specific medicines have improved survival in children as in adults. Outcome in this series compares favourably with international outcome data.

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  • Funding: AAH was partially funded by Actelion Ltd.

  • Competing interests: SGH has acted as a consultant and received unrestricted educational grants from Actelion Ltd, Encysive pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.

  • Ethics approval: This work was approved by the ethics committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health.