Year of Publication
OBJECTIVE: To characterize distinct comorbidities, outcomes, and treatment patterns in children with Down syndrome and pulmonary hypertension) in a large, multicenter pediatric pulmonary hypertension registry.
STUDY DESIGN: We analyzed data from the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network (PPHNet) Registry, comparing demographic and clinical characteristics of children with and without Down syndrome. We examined factors associated with pulmonary hypertension resolution and a composite outcome of pulmonary hypertension severity in the cohort with Down syndrome.
RESULTS: Of 1475 pediatric patients with pulmonary hypertension, 158 (11%) had Down syndrome. Median age of pulmonary hypertension diagnosis in patients with Down syndrome was 0.49 years (IQR 0.21, 1.77), similar to non-Down syndrome. There was no difference in rates of cardiac catheterization and prescribed pulmonary hypertension medications in children with or without Down syndrome. Comorbidities in Down syndrome included congenital heart disease (95%, repaired in 68%), sleep apnea (56%), prematurity (49%), recurrent respiratory exacerbations (35%), gastroesophageal reflux (38%), and aspiration (31%). pulmonary hypertension resolved in 43% after 3 years, associated with pulmonary hypertension diagnosis age <6 months (54% vs 29%, p=0.002) and pre-tricuspid shunt (65% vs 38%, p=0.02). Five-year transplant-free survival was 88% (95% CI: 80-97%). Tracheostomy (HR 3.29, 95% CI 1.61-6.69) and reflux medication use (HR 2.08, 95% CI 1.11-3.90) were independently associated with for a composite outcome of severe pulmonary hypertension.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite high rates of cardiac and respiratory comorbidities that influence pulmonary hypertension severity, children with Down syndrome-associated pulmonary hypertension generally have survival rates similar to children with non-Down syndrome-associated pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension resolution is common, but reduced among children with complicated respiratory comorbidities.