WHAT IS CTEPH?
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is a form of high blood pressure in the lungs. It is caused by scar-like tissue from blood clots. These blood clots block or narrow the small blood vessels in the lungs.
Many people can be cured of CTEPH with surgery. If not a candidate for surgery, medications and other procedures can reduce symptoms and provide relief.
CTEPH can be hard to diagnose. You need to work with an experienced lung doctor.
CTEPH IS A RARE DISEASE.
In the United States, about 5,000 people are diagnosed with CTEPH each year.
The main symptom of CTEPH is shortness of breath with exertion.
Worldwide, CTEPH affects about 8 to 40 people in every million.
One in every 25 people who have had a blood clot in the lungs is at risk for getting CTEPH.
CAUSES OF AND RISK FACTORS FOR CTEPH
Many people diagnosed with CTEPH have had prior blood clots in the lungs. These are called pulmonary embolism. Risk factors include:
- Having a high risk for blood clots
- Chronic inflammatory disorders
- Having your spleen removed
- Thyroid replacement therapy
- Family history of blood clots
PULMONARY HYPERTENSION DIAGNOSIS
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can be difficult to diagnose in a routine medical exam because the most common symptoms of PH are also associated with many other conditions. If your doctor suspects that you have PH, he or she will want to review your medical and family history, perform a physical exam and perform one or more diagnostic tests.
SYMPTOMS OF CTEPH
- Shortness of breath, especially with exercise or stair climbing
- Swelling of the legs
- Dizziness or fainting
- Tightness in the chest or belly
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain