Background: Percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty (PTPA) is a recently developed catheter-based therapy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The aim of the present study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of PTPA in elderly patients with CTEPH.
Methods: In all, 257 PTPA sessions in 70 patients (median age 63 years) were analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups according to age: (i) a younger group (<65 years; n=39); and (ii) an elderly group (≥65 years; n=31).
Results: Hemodynamic improvements were comparable between the younger and elderly groups (63.1% vs. 68.2% decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance, respectively; P>0.05). The median length of stay in the intensive care unit after each session (1.0 vs. 1.0 days) and in hospital per session (9.2 vs. 9.4 days) was similar between the two groups (P>0.05 for all). The prevalence of reperfusion pulmonary edema (23.4% vs. 26.3% across all sessions) and other complications, such as contrast dye-induced nephropathy (0% vs. 2.0%), infection (0% vs. 0%), and neurological complications (0% vs. 1.0%), was comparable in the younger vs. elderly groups (P>0.05 for all). One-year all-cause mortality was similar in the younger and elderly groups (0% vs. 3.2%, respectively; P>0.05).
Conclusions: PTPA can be performed safely and effectively, even in elderly patients, and could be considered as an alternative therapeutic strategy for elderly patients who are too fragile for pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) or who are treated in institutions without highly experienced PEA surgeons.
Keywords: Age; Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; Elderly patients; Percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty; Pulmonary endarterectomy.
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