CTEPH Awareness Day
November 21, 2017
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a type of pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs, caused by old blood clots in the lungs.
- Of the 600,000 people who suffer a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) annually in the U.S., approximately 1 in 25 could go on to develop Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH).
- Any person who has had a pulmonary embolism, but is still short of breath for 6 months or more should be screened for CTEPH.
- Symptoms of CTEPH can include: unexplained shortness of breath, rapid breathing, chest pain (sometimes worse upon a deep breath), rapid heart rate, exercise intolerance, unexplained weakness, light headedness and/or dizziness, and passing out.
- Awareness, early diagnosis, and treatment by a PH specialist can extend and improve the quality of life for those living with CTEPH.
PEs that are not completely resolved by the body or medical treatment can cause CTEPH, a rare form of pulmonary hypertension (PH). CTEPH is believed to occur in up to 5 percent of patients who suffer from an acute PE. Although some people with CTEPH may not remember a specific PE event. People living with CTEPH may be candidates for a pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), a surgical procedure to remove the chronic clots that can significantly reduce or even normalize blood pressure in the lungs. People living with CTEPH who are not able to have a PTE, and those with PH that remains after surgery, may be candidates for U.S. FDA-approved oral medication.
PH is high blood pressure in the lungs. It is a progressive disease often misdiagnosed — as asthma, for example — that can lead to right heart failure. PH, which affects adults and children of all ages, can exist alone or in association with other conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus and other connective tissue diseases; congenital heart disease; chronic liver disease; HIV; congestive heart failure; COPD; and other illnesses.
There are two tests central to the CTEPH diagnosis – a right heart catheterization and ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan.