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World J Cardiol. 2013 Mar 26;5(3):18-21. doi: 10.4330/wjc.v5.i3.18.

Pulmonary endarterectomy in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: How can patients be better selected?

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Juan C Grignola, Department of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Republic, Montevideo 11600, Uruguay.


Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) comprises organizing thrombotic obstructions in the pulmonary arteries by nonresolving thromboemboli, formation of fibrosis and remodeling of pulmonary blood vessels. Surgical pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is the therapy of choice for patients with surgically accessible CTEPH, which leads to a profound improvement in hemodynamics, functional class and survival. Selecting the candidates that will benefit from surgery is still a challenging task. Criteria for surgical suitability have been described but the decision-making for or against surgical intervention remains still subjective. The optimal characterization of the reciprocal contribution of large vessel and small vessel disease in the elevation of pulmonary vascular resistance is crucial for the indication and outcome of PEA. Recently, Toshner et al intended to validate the partition resistance into small and large vessels compartments (upstream resistance: Rup) by the occlusion technique in the preoperative assessment of PEA. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Rup and compare it with other hemodynamic predictor to evaluate operative risk in CTEPH patients.


Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; Operability; Pulmonary artery occluded pressure; Pulmonary endarterectomy; Pulmonary vascular resistance

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