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Heart scan proposed to detect PH in children

LOCAL doctors are proposing to include heart scan in the routine health examination for children, especially those born with a heart condition or born prematurely, for early detection of pulmonary hypertension, known as "cancer" of cardiovascular diseases.

Such a scan has been introduced in children's physical check in Europe and has succeeded to detect children with PH in time, they told an international pediatric heart failure forum held in Shanghai today.

Pulmonary hypertension means an increase in blood pressure in the lung vasculature. It shows no symptoms at an early stage but will cause shortness of breath, dizziness, faint and other symptoms as the disease develops.

Pulmonary hypertension, or PH, is a fatal condition if not treated correctly and timely. The average survival rate is only 2.8 years after a patient starts to show symptoms.

Dr Liu Jinfen, president of Shanghai Children's Medical Center, said about 25 percent of children with congenital heart diseases suffer from pulmonary hypertension, which is found in half of children with severe congenital heart diseases.

There are 150,000 children born with congenital heart diseases in the country annually.


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