BACKGROUND: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is characterized by obstruction of major pulmonary arteries with organized thrombi. Clinical risk factors for pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disease including metabolic syndrome, left-sided valvular heart disease, and ischemic heart disease are common in CTEPH patients.
OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to investigate prevalence and prognostic implications of elevated left ventricular filling pressures (LVFP) in CTEPH.
METHODS: A total of 593 consecutive CTEPH patients undergoing a first diagnostic right and left heart catheterization were included in this study. Mean pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (mPAWP) and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) were utilized for assessment of LVFP. Two cutoffs were applied to identify patients with elevated LVFP: 1) for the primary analysis mPAWP and/or LVEDP >15 mm Hg, as recommended by the current pulmonary hypertension guidelines; and 2) for the secondary analysis mPAWP and/or LVEDP >11 mm Hg, representing the upper limit of normal. Clinical and echocardiographic features, and long-term mortality were assessed.
RESULTS: LVFP was >15 mm Hg in 63 (10.6%) and >11 mm Hg in 222 patients (37.4%). Univariable logistic regression analysis identified age, systemic hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, calcific aortic valve stenosis, mitral regurgitation, and left atrial volume as significant predictors of elevated LVFP. Atrial fibrillation, calcific aortic valve stenosis, mitral regurgitation, and left atrial volume remained independent determinants of LVFP in adjusted analysis. At follow-up, higher LVFPs were measured in patients who had meanwhile undergone pulmonary endarterectomy (P = 0.002). LVFP >15 mm Hg (P = 0.021) and >11 mm Hg (P = 0.006) were both associated with worse long-term survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated LVFP is common, appears to be due to comorbid left heart disease, and predicts prognosis in CTEPH.