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CTEPH Basics

When people talk about blood pressure, they are normally referring to the blood pressure you measure with a cuff. This is called systemic blood pressure—the pressure in your body’s arteries (blood vessels) as your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. If your systemic blood pressure is high, you have systemic hypertension.

The blood vessels in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries, have their own pressures. In some cases, this pressure can be high, causing pulmonary hypertension (PH). PH makes the right side of your heart work harder. Over time, the right side of your heart becomes enlarged, making it harder to pump blood.

CTEPH, or chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, is a rare form of PH. In CTEPH, a thrombus (clot-like mass) gets stuck to the lung’s blood vessel wall and blocks blood flow.

Pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) surgery is a complex surgical procedure performed on eligible people with CTEPH, whose PH is caused by blood clots in the lungs. PTE surgery is used to remove blood clots and restore blood flow to the lungs. This surgery is performed only at select, specialized centers.

NEXT: Symptoms and Risk Factors

How is CTEPH diagnosed?

Discover the different tests that doctors use to find out if you have CTEPH.