Background: Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) has been the most effective therapy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). However, residual or recurrent pulmonary hypertension often persists after PEA. Recently, catheter-based angioplasty, called percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty (PTPA) or balloon pulmonary angioplasty, has been developed as a promising strategy for CTEPH. Therefore, the usefulness of PTPA for residual or recurrent pulmonary hypertension after PEA was investigated.
Methods: Thirty-nine patients underwent PEA from January 2000, and a total of 423 consecutive PTPA sessions in 110 patients were performed from January 2009 to May 2014. Of them, 9 patients (23.0% of 39 patients undergoing PEA and 8.2% of 110 patients undergoing PTPA) had undergone previous PEA and additional PTPA.
Results: In these 9 patients, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) was 15.6 (7.8-18.9) wood units at baseline, and significantly improved after PEA [5.6 (3.5-6.5) wood units] (p<0.05). However, PVR gradually deteriorated before PTPA [8.1 (6.1-12.3) wood units] compared to after PEA, suggesting that these 9 patients had residual or recurrent pulmonary hypertension after PEA. PTPA was performed at 4.1 (2.7-7.9) years after PEA. Follow-up catheterization at 1.9 (1.3-3.3) years after PTPA revealed significant improvement of PVR [4.2 (2.8-4.8) wood units] (p<0.05).
Conclusions: A hybrid approach combining PEA and additional PTPA may be reasonable for patients with both proximal and very distal lesions not easily approachable by PEA. PTPA could be a promising alternative therapeutic strategy for residual or recurrent pulmonary hypertension after PEA.
Keywords: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; Percutaneous transluminal pulmonary angioplasty; Pulmonary endarterectomy; Residual pulmonary hypertension.
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