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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2016 Jan;35(1):80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Echocardiographic evidence of right ventricular functional improvement after balloon pulmonary angioplasty in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

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Departments of Cardiology. Electronic address:
Departments of Cardiology.
Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
Cardiothoracic Surgery, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet; Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) induces right ventricular (RV) adaptive changes but often results in RV failure and death. Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) is a treatment option in patients in whom pulmonary endarterectomy is contraindicated and in patients with residual pulmonary hypertension after pulmonary endarterectomy. We hypothesized that RV reverse remodeling and improved RV function would occur after BPA in patients with CTEPH.


In 26 patients with CTEPH (59 ± 12 years old; 11 men), echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, blood samples, and right-sided cardiac catheterization were performed before and after 4 ± 2 BPA procedures. Echocardiography images were analyzed off-line with particular focus on RV function according to current recommendations. Differences from baseline to follow-up were analyzed by paired samples t tests.


Significant improvements in hemodynamics, peak oxygen consumption, and levels of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide were detected after BPA. All measures of RV function improved considerably, including fractional area change (+6%; p = 0.003), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (+3 mm; p < 0.001), and RV free wall peak strain (-4.4; p = 0.002). RV end-diastolic diameter, area, and free wall thickness decreased significantly, whereas left ventricular diameter and stroke volume increased.


After BPA, a significant improvement in RV functional parameters could be observed by echocardiography, adding credibility to this form of treatment in patients with CTEPH.


balloon pulmonary angioplasty; chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; echocardiography; remodeling; right ventricle

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