Treatment for Eisenmenger syndrome in Denver, Colorado

Eisenmenger syndrome is a congenital abnormality in the heart that children are born with. A hole (shunt) develops between the two pumping chambers of your heart, the left and right ventricles, and causes irregular blood flow from the heart to the lungs. This hole permits blood that has already received oxygen from the lungs to flow back into the lungs, instead of flowing to the rest of the body.

Over time, Eisenmenger syndrome causes high blood pressure in the lungs, damage to the small blood vessels and oxygen-poor blood traveling to the rest of the body.

The expert pediatric cardiologists and congenital heart disease specialists at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) provide careful medical monitoring and medications for this life-threatening condition.

To learn more about pediatric heart care at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children or to schedule a consultation, please call us at (303) 860-9933.

Symptoms of Eisenmenger syndrome

Eisenmenger syndrome is a condition that includes a collection of symptoms, including:

  • Cyanosis—pale blue or grayish skin due to decreased oxygen in the blood
  • Pulmonary hypertension—high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs
  • Erythrocytosis—increased number of red blood cells in the blood due to decreased oxygen in the blood

Other general symptoms of Eisenmenger syndrome include:

  • Shortness of breath while at rest
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Tingling or numbness in the toes or fingers
  • Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
  • Large, rounded toenails or fingernails (clubbing)
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Racing or skipped heartbeats (palpitations)

Eisenmenger syndrome primarily affects adolescents and adults with certain congenital heart abnormalities that are repaired late (after the first year of life) or that are never repaired. Eisenmenger syndrome, however, can occur in infants or children born with pulmonary hypertension, therefore, symptoms related to cyanosis may occur much earlier in life.

Eisenmenger syndrome diagnosis

The pediatric cardiologists and other heart abnormality specialists at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children will analyze your medical history, conduct a physical exam and perform diagnostic tests, including:

  • Echocardiogram (echo)
  • Electrocardiograph (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Walking test

Treatment for Eisenmenger syndrome

Although there is no cure for Eisenmenger syndrome, our congenital heart disease specialists at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children aim to manage your or your child’s condition and control the symptoms. Eisenmenger syndrome is commonly treated with medications, such as:

  • Aspirin and other blood-thinning medications
  • Iron supplements
  • Heart arrhythmia medication
  • Vasodilators
  • Antibiotics

Surgical treatment for Eisenmenger syndrome is not generally recommended, as it can be life-threatening.