DEFINE CHRONIC THROMBOEMBOLIC PULMONARY HYPERTENSION
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) is the discomfort caused in the pulmonary system as high blood pressure is created in the arteries. This is considered the prime cause of chronic PH that leads to right heart failure and ultimate death. It is caused by clots which are present in the blood vessels that last after at least three months of blood thinners. These clots lead to scar-like tissue that clogs up or narrows the small blood vessels in the lungs. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) can also be called a rare and progressive form of Pulmonary Hypertension (PH).
THE CAUSE OF CTEPH
Some most common causes of CTEPH include:
· Uncontrolled blood pressure at the time a blood clot is diagnosed
· Lupus Anticoagulant Syndrome
· Antiphospholipid Syndrome.
· More than one blood clot in the lungs
· Thyroid replacement therapy.
· Infected pacemaker
· Unprovoked large pulmonary embolisms
MAJOR SYMPTOMS OF CTEPH
Major symptoms that are seen in the person diagnosed with CTEPH include the following:
· Tiredness and weakness
· Difficulty breathing
· Pain in chest
· Blood while coughing
· Swollen legs
· Development of Cyanosis
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WHAT ARE THE MAJOR COMPLICATIONS OF CTEPH?
With CTEPH, blood clots in the lungs and clogs the arteries, which result in scars over time and result in an increase in pulmonary pressure. The right side of your heart tends to pump harder creating more pressure for blood to pass through. PH also causes a back-up of blood returning from the veins to the heart. The right side of the heart works harder to keep up with the blood flow. This extra work can weaken the heart, making it swell and over time, lead to heart failure. It also causes a drop in the level of oxygen. If not treated, patients with CTEPH may die within 5 years.
THE DIAGNOSIS OF CTEPH
Your healthcare provider will examine you and then may order one or more of the following tests:
· Lung ventilation-perfusion scan
· Computed tomography (CT) scan:
· Right-heart catheterization:
· Angiography of the lung (pulmonary angiogram):
· Pulmonary function tests
TREATMENT FOR CTEPH
The basic line of treatment prescribed by health care providers includes the surgical Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE), also called pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). If the patient can’t withstand surgery due to an age or health factor then three major treatments are given which include the following:
· Percutaneous Balloon Pulmonary Angioplasty:
· Double lung transplant
Patients who are put on blood thinning medications such as WARFARIN (COUMADIN) are often asked to monitor their PT/INR level. The patients can easily perform their tests sitting comfortably at home with the help of PT/INR METERS and can get the reading in seconds. PATIENT SELF TESTING is a common and convenient method for performing blood tests.