The Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) program at Intermountain Medical Center provides a full range of care from diagnostic evaluation of patients with suspected CTEPH or persistent shortness of breath after pulmonary embolism, to medical and surgical management of patients with established CTEPH.
What is CTEPH?
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a long-term complication that occurs in some patients who have had a pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that typically starts in the legs and then travels to the lungs. Usually, patients with PE have shortness of breath, low blood oxygen levels, chest pain and lightheadedness, but not all patients have all symptoms.
Doctors treat pulmonary embolism with blood thinning medication, which usually dissolves the blood clots over a period of months and prevent new clots from forming. For reasons that are not well understood, blood clots do not properly dissolve in patients with CTEPH, and so additional treatments are needed. CTEPH occurs in about 5% of patients who have been diagnosed with a PE, but can also occur in patients who have never had a PE diagnosed.
In patients with CTEPH, the chronic blood clots block blood flow in the blood vessels in the lungs (called the pulmonary arteries). This causes increased pressure in these blood vessels. This means that the right side of the heart, which pumps blood through the lungs, must work harder to pump against this high pressure. Over time, the right side of the heart can dilate and fail if CTEPH is not recognized and treated.
The Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Intermountain Medical Center
Physicians and nurses at the Intermountain CTEPH Progarm have decades of experience in caring for patients with CTEPH. We offer the full range of diagnostic testing needed to properly evaluate a patient with suspected CTEPH, including echocardiography, pulmonary function testing, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, advanced heart and lung imaging, and right heart catheterization with conventional pulmonary angiography. We offer access to cutting edge treatments for CTEPH, including medical and surgical therapy. We also follow-up with patients who have had an acute PE with signs that suggest risk for CTEPH, including pulmonary hypertension, or right heart dysfunction by echocardiogram, in a dedicated CTEPH and post-pulmonary embolism clinic.
Recent News Story Highlighting Our CTEPH Program