Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a serious complication of pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) that causes a serious decrease in quality of life and even loss of life in the long term. Clot, which is one of the subclasses of pulmonary hypertension, or the remodeling of the pulmonary vascular wall, can be defined as a poor disease that occurs as a result of the obstruction of the lung vessels and slowing the blood flow.
Although the prevalence of CTEPH in the general population is very low (0.57 percent), this rate is higher in patients with pulmonary thromboembolism (1.5 percent). While the incidence of the disease increases at the age of 60 and over, it is rare in childhood. Considering that three-quarters of the people who have clot in the lung vein and half of the people who have clot in the leg veins are at risk, it would not be wrong to say that every patient who has had pulmonary thromboembolism and who applied with the complaint of shortness of breath is a potential candidate for CTEPH. In these patients, a multidisciplinary process, that is, a process in which more than one branch is included in the diagnosis and treatment stages, should begin. In these patients, there is a situation where the lungs are ventilated normally but blood is less than normal. These patients can be diagnosed with the engagement and joint work of chest diseases, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, radiology, nuclear medicine and intensive care branches.
In patients diagnosed with CTEPH, curative treatment is surgical operation. This surgery, which has become widespread in the world and in our country with the increase of awareness, can be applied with low mortality rates thanks to developments in imaging and diagnostic methods, advances in cardiac protection techniques in cardiovascular surgery, and advances in auxiliary support systems in postoperative care. The basic logic is to surgically remove the clot material that is in the lung vessels and is attached to the vessel and is now chronic.
Our aim is to identify these patients and to save their lives. We cannot diagnose because we are not aware of it, and we cannot treat it because we cannot diagnose. If we make a diagnosis, we can treat it. This is actually the purpose of awareness days.
Prof.Dr. Tankut AKAY
President of the Turkish Society for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery