Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty in Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension: New Horizons in the Interventional Management of Pulmonary Embolism

Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2017 Sep;20(3):206-215. doi: 10.1053/j.tvir.2017.07.011. Epub 2017 Jul 5.


Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is an underdiagnosed potential complication of acute or recurrent pulmonary thromboembolic disease. Multiple studies suggest that up to 5% of patients with acute pulmonary thromboembolic disease go on to develop CTEPH. The prognosis of untreated CTEPH is poor, but advances in medical and surgical treatments over the past few decades have improved patient outcomes. The gold standard and curative treatment for CTEPH is pulmonary endarterectomy; however, some patients are inoperable and others who have undergone pulmonary endarterectomy experience persistent or recurrent pulmonary hypertension despite medical therapy. In recent years, balloon pulmonary angioplasty has emerged as a primary and adjunctive treatment for these CTEPH patients at expert or specialized centers. This review outlines an approach to balloon pulmonary angioplasty for CTEPH, including clinical presentation and evaluation; patient selection and indications; treatment planning; equipment and technique; overcoming technical challenges; recognition and management of complications; postprocedural care and clinical follow-up; and expected outcomes.

Keywords: BPA; balloon pulmonary angioplasty; pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon* / adverse effects
  • Arterial Pressure*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / therapy*
  • Patient Selection
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome