In the 2009 European Guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH), one section covers aspects of pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The practical implementation of the guidelines for this disease is of crucial importance, because CTEPH is a subset of PH which can potentially be cured by pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). Nowadays, CTEPH is commonly underdiagnosed and not properly managed. Any patient with unexplained PH should be evaluated for the presence of CTEPH, and a ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) lung scan is recommended as screening method of choice. If the V/Q scan or CT angiography reveals signs of CTEPH, the patient should be referred to a specialized center with expertise in the medical and surgical management of this disease. Every case has to be reviewed by an experienced PEA surgeon for the assessment of operability. In this updated recommendation, important contents of the European guidelines were commented, and more recent information regarding diagnosis and treatment was added.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.