NYMC Faculty Publications

Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty for Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease

First Page


Last Page


Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date




Second Department



Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a form of pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by thromboembolic disease with the secondary remodeling of the pulmonary vessels. The primary treatment of CTEPH is pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE). However, some patients are not candidates for PTE because of surgically inaccessible thrombi or high operative risk and can be candidates for balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA), an emerging, lower risk treatment. This review discusses the patient selection, the technique, and comprehensive review of reported outcomes following BPA. BPA techniques have improved over the years, and so has its safety profile. Recent data show that after several sessions of BPA, patients who were not eligible for PTE had improvement in their hemodynamic profile, functional capacity, and 6-minute walk distance. Studies have shown that compared to riociguat, BPA has shown significant improvement in the functional capacity and hemodynamic measurements. Reperfusion pulmonary edema is a common complication after PTE and BPA, which may be due to vessel injury rather than pulmonary extravasation. Rates of complications have decreased especially after the use of optical coherence tomography, which helps in proper sizing of the balloons. Patients with CTEPH who are ineligible for PTE should be evaluated for BPA. In addition to medical therapy, BPA has shown promising clinical and hemodynamic outcomes in patients with CTEPH.