Long-term therapy for pulmonary hypertension in children

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This review recounts recent advances in the understanding and treatment of the processes that cause pulmonary hypertension in infancy and childhood. New discoveries have begun to unveil connections between the basic physiological mechanisms responsible for the regulation of pulmonary vascular tone and the abnormal responses of the pulmonary vasculature in a variety of disease conditions. These discoveries raise hope for new therapeutic interventions that may improve the high mortality and morbidity of both children and adults with pulmonary vascular disease. In the meantime, treatment efforts continue to be focused on the relief of pulmonary vasoconstriction with inhaled nitric oxide and intravenous prostacyclin in the short term and oral calcium channel blockers as the mainstay of long-term therapy. Lung transplantation often remains as the only viable option for continued survival when the pulmonary vascular disease is progressive.

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