Background: The surgical indication for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) has been modified due to recognition of peripheral type CTEPH and changes in surgical methods and skill. Bosentan and sildenafil are used as modern oral therapy (mod Tx) in patients with inoperable CTEPH, although it remains unknown whether they have positive effects on survival.
Methods and results: A total of 202 patients were diagnosed with CTEPH at Chiba University Hospital between 1986 and 2010, 100 of whom underwent pulmonary endarterectomy. Seven medically treated patients with pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) ≤ 300 dyn·s·cm(-5) were regarded as having mild disease. Survival rate was stratified by date of diagnosis (group 1, 1986-1998; group 2, 1999-2004; group 3, 2005-2010), and prognostic factors in the remaining 95 medically treated patients were investigated. Group 3 included the most patients treated with mod Tx (group 1, 9.1%; group 2, 24.2%; group 3, 65.0%) and had significantly better survival than either group 1 or 2 (5-year survival: group 1, 54.6%; group 2, 69.7%; group 3, 87.3%). Patients receiving mod Tx had significantly better survival than those not on mod Tx (5-year survival: 88.9% vs. 60.2%). Multivariate analysis showed that mod Tx, lower PVR, and lack of comorbidity were significant predictors of better outcome.
Conclusions: Medically treated patients with CTEPH had a better survival rate, and the use of mod Tx contributed to improved survival.