Objective: This study aimed to analyze the role of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) in patients with persistent chest symptoms after acute PE.
Methods: Patients aged between 18 and 80 years who were followed up for acute PE were screened for chest symptoms which persisted after the anticoagulation treatment. Patients suffering other types of pulmonary hypertension (PH) or metastatic malignancies were excluded in this study. Demographic and functional data of patients included this study were collected. The patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography and ventilation/perfusion (VQ) scans. Also, invasive hemodynamic studies were done to patients with intermediate/high probability of VQ scans.
Results: Of the 140 patients screen for this study, 29 patients (Female/Male=16/13) with mean age of 56.1±11.2 years and follow-up time of 35.1±17.7 months met the inclusion criteria. The mean systolic pulmonary artery blood pressure (sPAP) on transthoracic echocardiography was 28.9±4.9 mm Hg (range=2040 mm Hg). Furthermore, intermediate or high probability of VQ scans was detected in 2 patients, who were subsequently diagnosed with CTEPH (6.9%) via right heart catheterization.
Conclusion: CTEPH was diagnosed at a low rate in patients with persistent chest symptoms after the anticoagulation treatment for PE. CTEPH is still an elusive entity, which requires a multidisciplinary and invasive approach.