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Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019 Aug 23;3(3):311-318. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2019.06.006. eCollection 2019 Sep.

Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty for Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension: Initial Single-Center Experience.

Author information

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Kyorin University, Tokyo, Japan.



To evaluate the safety and efficacy of balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) seen at a US medical center.

Patients and Methods:

Patients with inoperable or residual postendarterectomy CTEPH who underwent BPA at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, between August 11, 2014, and May 17, 2018, were included. Invasive hemodynamic, clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic data were collected and analyzed retrospectively.


We identified 31 patients (26 with inoperable CTEPH and 5 with residual postendarterectomy CTEPH) who underwent 75 BPA procedures performed in a staged manner to reduce complications. The median number of sessions was 2 (interquartile range [IQR], 1-3) per patient, and the number of vessels treated per session was 3 (IQR, 2-3). Of the 31 patients, 24 (77.4%) were taking pulmonary vasodilators and 22 (71.0%) were taking riociguat. The mean pulmonary arterial pressure decreased from 40 mm Hg (IQR, 29-48 mm Hg) to 29 mm Hg (IQR, 25-37 mm Hg; P<.001); pulmonary vascular resistance decreased from 5.5 Wood units (WU) (IQR, 3.0-7.6 WU) to 3.3 WU (2.2-5.2 WU; P<.001). The follow-up 6-minute walk test was performed in 13 patients and improved from 402 m (IQR, 311-439 m) to 439 m (366-510 m; P=.001). Of the 31 patients, 19 (61.3%) had improvement in New York Heart Association functional class. The mean ± SD nadir of minute ventilation/carbon dioxide production decreased by 3.4±5.5 (P=.03), reflecting improved ventilatory efficiency. Complications included hemoptysis requiring overnight intensive care unit observation (n=1) and cardiac tamponade requiring pericardiocentesis (n=1). One patient had reperfusion injury requiring intubation, recovered, and was dismissed to home but died unexpectedly within less than 30 days of the procedure. Serious complications occurred in 3 of the 75 BPA procedures (4.0%).


Our experience with BPA revealed that this procedure has acceptable risk and improves hemodynamics, functional class, and exercise tolerance in patients with inoperable or residual CTEPH.


6MWD, 6-minute walk distance; BPA, balloon pulmonary angioplasty; CTEPH, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; ICU, intensive care unit; IQR, interquartile range; NT-proBNP, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; NYHA, New York Heart Association; PA, pulmonary artery; PH, pulmonary hypertension; RAP, right atrial pressure; RHC, right-sided heart catheterization; RV, right ventricular; RVSP, right ventricular systolic pressure; TAPSE, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion; WU, Wood units

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