What to expect
Our evaluation starts at the first phone call or Hospital visit. We will evaluate your child’s history and symptoms to determine how urgently your child needs to be seen or treated.
At the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at CHOP, your family will meet with an attending physician and a nurse practitioner who will perform a thorough history and physical exam. Your child’s healthcare team may also order tests, including:
- Blood tests: Simple blood tests can confirm our assessment of the severity of your child’s condition and are extremely important in planning treatment.
- An exercise test and/or walk test: Exercise testing is a noninvasive procedure used to identify your child's functional limits. The most common exercise test we use to evaluate PH patients is a simple, 6-minute walk test. Our team will determine whether a walk or exercise test is possible, safe and appropriate for your child.
- Imaging tests: We may perform an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram (EKG), or a chest X-ray to initially evaluate your child’s heart and lung function. We have the ability to perform sophisticated MRI, CT scan and nuclear medicine imaging if and when they are appropriate.
- Cardiac catheterization: We may recommend a cardiac catheterization to determine the severity of your child’s PH and guide our treatment. Cardiac catheterization requires the assistance of our specialized cardiac anesthesiologists and often a night’s stay in our Evelyn and Daniel M. Tabas Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
If we determine your child has pulmonary hypertension, the course of his treatment will depend on the cause and nature of the disease. We partner with families to educate, discuss and choose the best treatment combination for each child.