Research: Exercise-induced Pulmonary Hypertension in Long-term Survivors of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

J Pediatr


. 2024 Mar 27:114034.

 doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2024.114034. Online ahead of print.

Exercise-induced Pulmonary Hypertension in Long-term Survivors of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Paul J Critser 1Terry L Buchmiller 2Kimberlee Gauvreau 3Jill M Zalieckas 4Catherine A Sheils 5Gary A Visner 5Keri M Shafer 3Ming Hui Chen 6Mary P Mullen 7

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) among long-survivors of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) repair.

Study design: This is a single-center, retrospective cohort study of CDH survivors who underwent exercise stress echocardiography (ESE) at Boston Children’s Hospital from January 2006 to June 2020. PH severity was assessed by echocardiogram at baseline and after exercise. Patients were categorized by right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) after exercise: Group 1 – no or mild PH; and Group 2 – moderate or severe PH (RVSP ≥ 60 mmHg or ≥ ½ systemic blood pressure).

Results: Eighty-four patients with CDH underwent 173 ESE with median age 8.1 (4.8 – 19.1) years at first ESE. Sixty-four patients were classified as Group 1, 11 as Group 2, and 9 had indeterminate RVSP with ESE. Moderate to severe PH after exercise was found in 8 (10%) patients with no or mild PH at rest. Exercise-induced PH was associated with larger CDH defect size, patch repair, use of ECMO, supplemental oxygen at discharge, and higher WHO functional class. Higher VE/VCO2 slope, lower peak oxygen saturation, and lower percent predicted FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratio were associated with Group 2 classification. ESE changed management in 9/11 Group 2 patients. PH was confirmed in all 5 Group 2 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization after ESE.

Conclusions: Among long-term CDH survivors, 10% had moderate-severe exercise-induced PH on ESE, indicating ongoing pulmonary vascular abnormalities. Further studies are needed to optimally define PH screening and treatment for patients with repaired CDH.

Keywords: CDH; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; developmental lung disease; pediatric pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary vascular disease.

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