A new era of therapeutic strategies for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension by two different interventional therapies; pulmonary endarterectomy and percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 11;9(4):e94587. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094587. eCollection 2014.


Background: Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is established for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Recently, percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty (PTPA) has been added for peripheral-type CTEPH, whose lesions exist in segmental, subsegmental, and more distal pulmonary arteries. A shift in clinical practice of interventional therapies occurred in 2009 (first mainly PEA, later PTPA). We examined the latest clinical outcomes of patients with CTEPH.

Methods and results: This study retrospectively included 136 patients with CTEPH. Twenty-nine were treated only with drug (Drug-group), and the other 107 underwent interventional therapies (Interventions-group) (39 underwent PEA [PEA-group] and 68 underwent PTPA [PTPA-group]). Total 213 PTPA sessions (failures, 0%; mortality rate, 1.47%) was performed in the PTPA-group (complications: reperfusion pulmonary edema, 7.0%; hemosputum or hemoptysis, 5.6%; vessel dissection, 2.3%; wiring perforation, 0.9%). Although baseline hemodynamic parameters were significantly more severe in the Interventions-group, the outcome after the diagnosis was much better in the Interventions-group than in the Drug-group (98% vs. 64% 5-year survival, p<0.0001). Hemodynamic improvement in the PEA-group was a 46% decrease in mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) and a 49% decrease in total pulmonary resistance (TPR) (follow-up period; 74.7 ± 32.3 months), while those in the PTPA-group were a 40% decrease in mean PAP and a 49% decrease in TPR (follow-up period; 17.4 ± 9.3 months). The 2-year survival rate in the Drug-group was 82.0%, and the 2-year survival rate, occurrence of right heart failure, and re-vascularization rate in the PEA-group were 97.4%, 2.6%, and 2.8%, and those in the PTPA-group were 98.5%, 2.9%, and 2.9%, respectively.

Conclusion: The patients who underwent interventional therapies had better results than those treated only with drugs. The availability of both of these operative and catheter-based interventional therapies leads us to expect the dawn of a new era of therapeutic strategies for CTEPH.

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty* / adverse effects
  • Angioplasty* / mortality
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endarterectomy* / adverse effects
  • Endarterectomy* / mortality
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / surgery*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.