Pulmonary endarterectomy is a curative surgical treatment option for the majority of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. The current surgical management and postoperative outcome of patients enrolled in an international registry on chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension were investigated.
The registry included newly diagnosed (=6 months) consecutive patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension from February 2007 to January 2009.
A total of 679 patients were registered from 1 Canadian and 26 European centers, of whom 386 (56.8%) underwent surgery. The median age of patients undergoing surgery was 60 years, and 54.1% were male. Previous pulmonary embolism was confirmed for 79.8% of patients. Perioperative complications occurred in 189 patients (49.2%): infection (18.8%), persistent pulmonary hypertension (16.7%), neurologic (11.2%) or bleeding (10.2%) complications, pulmonary reperfusion edema (9.6%), pericardial effusion (8.3%), need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (3.1%), and in-hospital mortality due to perioperative complications (4.7%). Documented 1-year mortality was 7%. Preoperative exercise capacity was predictive of 1-year mortality. Postoperative pulmonary vascular resistance predicted in-hospital and 1-year mortality. In patients evaluated within 1 year after surgery, the median pulmonary vascular resistance had decreased from 698 to 235 dyn x s x cm(-5) (95% confidence limit, 640-874 and 211-255, respectively, n = 70) and the median 6-minute walk distance had increased from 362 to 459 m (95% confidence limit, 340-399 and 440-473, respectively, n = 168). New York Heart Association functional class improved with most patients progressing from class III/IV to class I/II.
Pulmonary endarterectomy is associated with a low in-hospital mortality rate and improvements in hemodynamics and exercise capacity.