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Reassuring long-term results of surgery in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension

Presented by
Dr Paula Appenzeller, University of Zürich, Switzerland
ERS 2023
Out of 3 different current therapy choices, 82% of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) are surgically treated with pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). An analysis revealed excellent long-term treatment survival in patients who undergo surgery with no difference to balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA).

In the UK, the treatment decision in patients with CTEPH is made by a multidisciplinary team that considers factors like anatomical clot distribution, operability and patient’s choice [1]. The presented analysis included over 1300 patients treated between 2015 and 2022, of whom 82% received PEA. The other 2 possible modalities of therapy consisted of either BPA or non-interventional (NI) medical treatment.

At baseline, the 3 groups varied significantly in median age (P<0.001): 60 years in PEA, 67 years in BPA, and 74 years in NI. Other significant differences between the groups included the median values for the 6-minute walk test and NT-proBNP. The groups also differed in baseline median mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP): PEA 46 mmHg, BPA 41 mmHg, and NI 44 mmHg. At follow-up, the median difference in mPAP in the PEA, BPA and NI arm were: -17 mmHg, -8 mmHg and -1 mmHg, respectively. Median difference in pulmonary vascular resistance in dynes/s/cm-5 reached -353 (PEA), -175 (BPA) and -147 (NI). A Kaplan-Meier-analysis revealed a 3-year survival of 91% in the PEA group, 96% in the BPA and 64% in the NI arm. When early deaths after surgery were excluded, the comparison between 3-year survival after PEA and BPA did not yield a statistical difference (P=0.98).

Dr Paula Appenzeller (University of Zürich, Switzerland) stated that the study showed excellent long-term survival in CTEPH patients treated by an intervention, with no significant difference between PEA and BPA at 3 years. “To offer multimodality treatment and to optimise outcome for an individual patient, an experienced multi-disciplinary team is needed to provide treatment selection as the treatments may be used alongside but they are not interchangeable as they target different disease distributions,” Dr Appenzeller concluded.

  1. Appenzeller P. Long term outcome in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension in the multimodality treatment era: a UK national cohort analysis. OA741, ERS International Congress 2023, 9–13 September, Milan, Italy.

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