Background: Dilatation of the bronchial arteries is a well-recognized feature in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The purpose of the current study was to use computed tomography (CT) to assess the relationship between dilated bronchial arteries and the extent of thrombi, and to evaluate the predictive value of the former for surgical outcome.
Methods and results: Fifty-nine patients with CTEPH and 16 with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) were retrospectively evaluated. The total cross-sectional area of bronchial arteries was measured by CT and its relationship with the central extent of thrombi or surgical outcome was assessed. The total area of the bronchial arteries in CTEPH patients was significantly larger than that in PAH patients (median [range], 6.9 [1.7-29.5] mm(2) vs 3.2 [0.8-9.4] mm(2)), with the total area of bronchial arteries correlating with the central extent of thrombi. In patients who had undergone pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) (n=22), the change in PaO(2) after surgery had a tendency to correlate with the total area of the bronchial arteries.
Conclusion: The total cross-sectional area of the bronchial arteries correlated with the extent of central disease in patients with CTEPH, and it might predict gas exchange improvement after PTE.