BACKGROUND: Balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) improves exercise tolerance and hemodynamic parameters in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. However, it is still unclear which patient characteristics contribute to the improvement in exercise tolerance after BPA in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. METHODS AND RESULTS: We retrospectively analyzed 126 patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (aged 63±14 years; female, 65%) who underwent BPA without concomitant programmed exercise rehabilitation at Keio University between November 2012 and April 2018. Hemodynamic data and 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), as a measure of exercise tolerance, were evaluated before and 1 year after BPA. The clinical characteristics that contributed to improvement in exercise tolerance were elucidated. The 6MWD significantly increased from 372.0 m (256.5–431.3) to 462.0 m (378.8–537.0) 1 year after BPA (P<0.001). The improvement rate in the 6MWD after BPA exhibited a good correlation with age, height, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and 6MWD at baseline (Spearman rank correlation coefficients=−0.28, 0.24, −0.40, and 0.44, respectively). Additional multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that young age, tall height, high mean pulmonary artery pressure, short 6MWD at baseline, and high lung capacity at baseline were significant predictors of the improvement in 6MWD by BPA (standardized partial regression coefficient −0.39, 0.22, 0.19, −0.62, and 0.25, P<0.001, 0.007, 0.011, <0.001, and <0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: BPA without concomitant programmed exercise rehabilitation significantly improves exercise tolerance. This was particularly true in young patients with high stature, high mean pulmonary artery pressure, short 6MWD, and lung capacity at the time of diagnosis.
- balloon pulmonary angioplasty
- chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
- exercise tolerance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine