Background: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a known sequela of acute pulmonary embolic disease and yet remains underdiagnosed. Although nonsurgical options for patients with CTEPH have become increasingly available, including pulmonary artery hypertensive medical therapy, surgical endarterectomy provides the most appropriate intervention as a potential cure for this debilitating disorder. This article summarizes the most recent outcomes of pulmonary endarterectomy at a single institution over the past 12 years, with emphasis on the surgical approach to segmental-level chronic thromboembolic disease.
Methods: More than 2,700 pulmonary endarterectomy operations have been performed at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Because of recent changes in the patient population and in surgical results, 1,500 patients with symptomatic chronic thromboembolic disease who underwent pulmonary endarterectomy between March 1999 and December 2010 were analyzed. The outcomes for the more recent 500 patients, compared with the previous 1,000 were studied.
Results: In-hospital mortality for the cohort of 1,000 patients (group 1) was 5.2% compared with 2.2% for the last 500 operations (group 2) (p < 0.01). There was no mortality in the last 260 consecutive patients undergoing isolated pulmonary endarterectomy. More patients presented with segmental type III disease in the more recent 500 patients (21.4% versus 13.1%; p < 0.001). Between the 2 patient groups, there was a comparable decline in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) (group 1: 861.2 ± 446.2 to 94.8 ± 204.2 dynes/sec/cm(-5); group 2: 719.0 ± 383.2 to 253.4 ± 148.6 dynes/sec/cm(-5)) and mean pulmonary artery (PA) pressures (group 1: 46.1 ± 11.4 to 28.7 ± 10.1 mm Hg; group 2: 45.5 ± 11.6 to 26.0 ± 8.4 mm Hg) after endarterectomy.
Conclusions: Despite a patient population with more distal disease, results continue to improve. Pulmonary endarterectomy for patients with CTEPH results in significant pulmonary hemodynamic improvement, with favorable outcomes achievable even in patients with distal segmental-level chronic thromboembolic disease.
Copyright © 2012 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.