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Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

The most common symptoms in children with pulmonary hypertension are breathing problems. If your child has symptoms, these may get worse with exercise or activity.

If they do have symptoms, they may have these:

  • Feeling short of breath when active
  • Fainting or feeling weak or dizzy when active
  • Being more tired than normal
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish color to the lips, hands and feet (cyanosis)
  • Swelling in the ankles

Pulmonary Hypertension Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your child and use a stethoscope to listen to their heart.

The doctor will ask for details about your child’s symptoms, their health history and your family health history.

Your child will also need echocardiography and electrocardiogram. To get more information about how their heart and lungs look and work, they may need other tests, including chest X-rays, chest CT (computed tomography) scanangiography, pulmonary function tests (to see how well they can inhale and exhale), exercise testing and cardiac catheterization.

You child may also be asked to do a six-minute walk test. For this test, they’re asked to walk as far as they can in six minutes and report on how tired they feel and how well they can breathe. We will also check the level of oxygen in their blood. This walk test can be used to monitor your child’s condition over time, to see whether it is getting worse.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)