Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
This website was created to help families who have infants with Persistent
Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) which is also referred to as
Persistent Fetal Circulation and is similar to Primary Pulmonary Hypertension in
adults. We have the latest information on PPHN, its
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) occurs when a newborn's
circulation system does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. While a fetus
is in the womb, it gets its oxygen from its mother's placenta through the
umbilical cords, so the lungs need little blood supply. There is high blood
pressure in the lungs, so blood in the pulmonary artery is sent away from the
lungs to the other organs through a fetal blood vessel, called the ductus
When a baby is born and takes its first breaths, the blood pressure in their
lungs falls and there is an increased blood flow to the lungs, where oxygen and
carbon dioxide are exchanged. The blood is then returned to the heart and pumped
back out to the body. The ductus arteriosus constricts and permanently closes in
the first day of life. However, in babies with PPHN, the pressure in the lungs
remains high and the ductus arterious remains open, allowing blood to be
directed away from the lungs.
PPHN is a rare, but life-threatening condition. It occurs most often in
full-term or post-term babies who have had a difficult birth, or conditions such
as infection or birth asphyxia, in which a baby receives an inadequate amount of
oxygen during delivery.
As the disease is very serious the Treatment Options section describes the
different types of treatments. In our Medical Financial Aid and Assistance
section, we discuss how patients and their families may be helped with medical
bills and financial concerns.
As new information links PPHN to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
antidepressants see our PPHN News Section.
and get this free patient information packet sent to you quickly.