Vol 27, No 6 (2020)
Original Article
Published online: 2018-09-13

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Increased systemic arterial stiffness in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension

Monika Sznajder1, Olga Dzikowska-Diduch1, Katarzyna Kurnicka1, Marek Roik1, Dominik Wretowski1, Piotr Pruszczyk1, Maciej Kostrubiec1
Pubmed: 30234892
Cardiol J 2020;27(6):742-748.


Background: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a complication of venous thromboembolism (VTE) resulting from non-dissolving thromboemboli in the pulmonary arteries. Previous observations indicate a higher prevalence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with VTE and CTEPH. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the arterial stiffening assessed by pulse wave velocity (PWV), a marker of arterial stiffness, in CTEPH patients in comparison with a matched control group (CG).

Methods: The study group consisted of 26 CTEPH patients (9 male and 17 female, age 69 ± 10 years) and 22 CG (10 male, 12 female, age 67 ± 8 years). In all subjects a physical examination, carotid-femoral PWV and transthoracic echocardiography were performed. Right heart catheterization was done in all CTEPH.

Results: Chronic tromboembolic pulmonary hypertension patients had significantly higher PWV than CG (10.3 ± 2.5 m/s vs. 9 ± 1.3 m/s, p < 0.05), even though systolic blood pressure was higher in CG (120 ± 11 vs. 132 ± 14 mmHg, p = 0.002). PWV correlated only with age and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in CTEPH (r = 0.45, p = 0.03 and r = 0.43, p = 0.03, respectively). Arterial stiffening defined as PWV > 10 m/s was found in 11 (42%) CTEPH patients and in 5 (23%) cases from CG (p = 0.13). CTEPH patients with PWV > 10 m/s were older (74 ± 8 vs. 66 ± 10 years, p < 0.05), had decreased oxygen saturation (SaO2 89 [73–96]% vs. 96 [85–98]%, p < 0.01) and tended to have higher PVR (8.1 [3.1–14.0] vs. 5.2 [3.1–12.7] HRU, p = 0.10).

Conclusions: Arterial stiffness, assessed with PWV, is increased in CTEPH. The elevated PWV is associated with older age, lower SaO2 and higher PVR in CTEPH.

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