Aims: Although balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) improves haemodynamics and short-term prognosis in patients with inoperable chronic thrombo-embolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), the long-term effects of BPA, and procedure-related complications remain to be fully elucidated. Methods and results: From July 2009 to October 2016, we performed a total of 424 BPA sessions in 84 consecutive patients with inop-erable CTEPH. We used 3D reconstructed computed tomography to determine target lesions of pulmonary arteries and optical computed tomography to select balloon size, if needed. In 77 patients (92%) who completed the BPA treatment [65 ± 14 (SD) years-old, male/female 14/63], haemodynamics and exercise capacity were examined at 6 months after last BPA and in the chronic phase [>12 months after first BPA, 31 (20, 41) months]. The BPA treatment significantly improved mean pulmonary arterial pressure (38 ±10 to 25 ± 6 mmHg), pulmonary vascular resistance (7.3 ± 3.2 to 3.8 ± 1.0 Wood units), and 6-minute walk distance (380±138 to 486 ± 112 m) (all P<0.01), and the improvements persisted throughout the follow-up period (43 ± 27 months) (N = 53). In the 424 sessions, haemoptysis was noted in 60 sessions (14%), and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) was used to treat haemoptysis and/or hypoxemia in 33 sessions (8%). Furthermore, 5-year survival was 98.4% (only one patient died of colon cancer) with no peri-procedural death. Conclusion: These results indicate that BPA improves haemodynamics and exercise capacity in inoperable CTEPH patients with acceptable complication rate and that the beneficial haemodynamic effects of BPA persist for years with resultant good long-term prognosis.
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