Patients with CTEPH and mild hemodynamic severity of disease improve to a similar level of exercise capacity after pulmonary endarterectomy compared to patients with severe hemodynamic disease.

van Kan C; Department of Respiratory Medicine OLVG Amsterdam The Netherlands.
Tramper J; Bresser P; J Meijboom L; Symersky P; Winkelman JA; Nossent EJ; Aman J; Bogaard HJ; Vonk Noordegraaf A; van Es J;

Pulmonary circulation [Pulm Circ] 2024 Jan 24; Vol. 14 (1), pp. e12316.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 Jan 24 (Print Publication: 2024).

The correlation between hemodynamics and degree of pulmonary vascular obstruction (PVO) is known to be poor in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), which makes the selection of patients eligible for pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) challenging. It can be postulated that patients with similar PVO but different hemodynamic severity have different postoperative hemodynamics and exercise capacity. Therefore, we aimed to assess the effects of PEA on hemodynamics and exercise physiology in mild and severe CTEPH patients. We retrospectively studied 18 CTEPH patients with a mild hemodynamic profile (mean pulmonary arterial pressure [mPAP] between 25 and 30 mmHg at rest) and CTEPH patients with a more severe hemodynamic profile (mPAP > 30 mmHg), matched by age, gender, and PVO. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing parameters were evaluated at baseline and 18 months following PEA. At baseline, exercise capacity, defined as oxygen uptake, was less severely impaired in the mild CTEPH group compared to the severe CTEPH group. After PEA, in the mild CTEPH group, ventilatory efficiency and oxygen pulse improved significantly ( p  < 0.05), however, the change in ventilatory efficiency and oxygen pulse was smaller compared to the severe CTEPH group. Only in the severe CTEPH group exercise capacity improved significantly ( p  < 0.001). Hence, in the present study, postoperative hemodynamic outcome and the CPET-determined recovery of exercise capacity in mild CTEPH patients did not differ from a matched group of severe CTEPH patients.