The evolving role of interventional cardiology in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension

Sergery Gurevich, Kurt W Prins
Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions 2020 August 1
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a heterogeneous group of diseases defined by a mean pulmonary arterial pressure greater than 20 mmHg. Clinically, PH is classified into five groups and the group of PH generally defines the cause of PH and the therapeutic options. Currently, medical therapies that target the prostacyclin, endothelin, and nitric oxide pathways are used in pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic PH (CTEPH) patients. Moreover, surgery can improve outcomes in PH as pulmonary thromboendarterectomy can be curative for CTEPH and lung transplantation is used for end-stage PH. Despite these diverse treatment options, PH patients continue to have high symptom burden and poor long-term outcomes. However, advances in percutaneous technology are opening new avenues for the management of PH. In this review, we discuss the available data supporting the use of four interventional procedures: balloon atrial septostomy, transcatheter Potts shunt, balloon pulmonary angioplasty, and pulmonary artery denervation for the treatment of PH. These procedures provide hemodynamic and functional improvements in PH patients, but they come with their own unique risk profiles. Hopefully, these procedures will continue to be refined and thereby provide a venue for interventional cardiology to safely and effectively improve outcomes for PH moving forward.

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