Postnatal pulmonary hypertension after repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia: Predicting risk and outcome

Joseph A. Iocono, Robert E. Cilley, David T. Mauger, Thomas M. Krummel, Peter W. Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) after congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) repair remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Although treatment advances have improved overall survival, a new cohort of patients is surviving with PH beyond the postnatal period. Because the clinical entity of postnatal persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHTN) in CDH patients has not been published, the authors undertook a retrospective study of our neonatal CDH experience to characterize this group of infants. Methods: Charts of all infants with CDH treated at this institution from January 1991 to June 1997 were reviewed (n = 51). Persistent pulmonary hypertension by echocardiographic (Echo) measurements at the time of discharge identified PPHTN patients. Control survivors had normal pulmonary artery pressures at discharge. Physiological parameters and the results of therapeutic interventions were analyzed to predict PPHTN. Results: Seven infants (four boys, three girls) had PPHTN at discharge. Significant differences with the control group were noted in length of stay, duration of intubation, and duration of nitric oxide therapy. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) duration was not significantly different between the groups. By 12 months of age, PPHTN resolved in six patients (87%), and one died at 13 months. Regardless of therapy, two parameters showed 100% positive predictive value for identifying patients with PPHTN (P <.001): an Echo demonstrating PH at 2 months of age or continued oxygen requirement at 3 months. Oxygen requirement at 2 months had a 67% predictive value of PPHTN. Conclusions: With current treatment strategies for CDH, infants can survive with persistent pulmonary hypertension beyond the newborn period. The long- term survival rate is excellent, and normalization of pulmonary artery pressures can be expected. PPHTN can be predicted in those infants with Echo- defined pulmonary hypertension at 2 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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