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(A-Z listing includes diseases, conditions, tests and procedures)

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension

What is persistent pulmonary hypertension?

In persistent pulmonary hypertension, also known as persistent fetal circulation, a newborn’s circulation reverts back to the circulation of a fetus, where much of the blood flow bypasses the lungs. It occurs most often in full-term babies after a difficult birth, or birth asphyxia.


  • Baby appears ill at delivery or in first hours after birth
  • Cyanosis, or blue coloring
  • Rapid breathing and rapid heart rate
  • Low blood oxygen levels


Physical examination of the infant is sufficient for the health care provider to diagnose gastroschisis. The mother may have shown signs indicating excessive amniotic fluid, a condition called polyhydramnios. Prenatal ultrasonography often identifies gastroschisis.


Treatments may include:

  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Placing an endotracheal tube into the baby's windpipe
  • Mechanical breathing machine
  • Medications to relax the baby's muscles so that he will better respond to the mechanical ventilator
  • Inhalation of nitric oxide to help dilate the blood vessels in the lungs
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
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