Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare result of recurrent pulmonary embolism and is treated by pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. Knowledge of the exact location of the thrombi is necessary in planning this operation. To date, pulmonary, angiography is the diagnostic imaging gold standard. Since the introduction of spiral CT excellent vascular opacification of the pulmonary arteries has become feasible, and thrombi in the pulmonary arteries can be visualized directly. Spiral CT is superior to angiography in demonstrating thrombi in the central pulmonary arteries, whereas angiography proves superior to CT in the evaluation of abnormalities within segmental arteries. The sensitivity of spiral CT in confirming the diagnosis of CTEPH is reported to be more than 90%. According to the literature and based on our own results, the decision concerning operability is possible on the basis of spiral CT images in more than 80% of patients with CTEPH. Spiral CT as a non-invasive tool may be used for CTEPH screening, for postoperative follow-up after pulmonary thrombendarterectomy and, combined with pulmonary angiography, to optimize operation planning.
- chronic pulmonary embolism
- pulmonary hypertension
- spiral CT
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging