A Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension/Heart Catheterization Decision Tree

The algorithm helps doctors decide which children with pulmonary arterial hypertension are at highest risk for major adverse events related to heart catheterization, and how to modify that risk.

Columbus, OH — August 2018

A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that children with pulmonary hypertension have clinically significant risks for major adverse events related to heart catheterizations.

Using the findings from that study and other related publications, physicians and researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have created an algorithm that could help doctors identify high-risk pulmonary hypertension patients before they undergo catheterization, and help modify those patients’ risk.

The original research was led by Michael O’Byrne, MD, MSCE, an interventional cardiologist in the Cardiac Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and epidemiologist at their Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness. A summary is available here.

The algorithm was proposed in an invited editorial commenting on the original research. Its senior author is Elisa Bradley, MD, a cardiologist in The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s.

“The overall composite event rate was low and in keeping with prior studies, but the risk of death before discharge was high for pediatric pulmonary hypertension patients,” Dr. Bradley says. “The work of Dr. O’Byrne and his colleagues identified some practical opportunities for physicians to improve decision-making for high-risk patients and for the field as a whole to move toward risk reduction.”