Long-term results after thromboendarterectomy for chronic pulmonary embolism†

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Objective: In patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) can be reduced by pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE). In this study, long-term symptomatic and hemodynamic effects were investigated. Methods: Twenty-two patients (12 female, 10 male, mean age 40 years, preoperative NYHA functional class II/III/IV: n=1/12/9) were re-evaluated 48-72 months (mean 60 months) after surgery. In addition to clinical assessment, radiologic, hemodynamic and echocardiographic investigations were performed. Results: All patients reported a marked improvement of their clinical condition. At follow-up, 11 patients were identified as NYHA class I, 10 as NYHA class II and one patient was in class III. PVR and mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) were significantly reduced (preoperative PVR 800±274 dynes/s per cm−5, follow-up PVR 180±28.3 dynes/s per cm−5; P<0.001; preoperative mPAP 48.5±7.4 mmHg, follow-up mPAP 27.5±4.9 mmHg; P<0.001). There was also a significant increase in arterial blood oxygen tension (preoperative PaO2 59±10 mmHg; follow-up PaO2 84±12 mmHg; P<0.001). Chest roentgenograms and echocardiographic examinations revealed significantly decreased right heart dimensions and a recovery of right heart function. Conclusion: In patients with severe chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, persistent symptomatic and hemodynamic improvements can be achieved by PTE.

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