The best candidates for PTE are patients with chronic pulmonary hypertension (also known as pulmonary thromboembolic disease), including those with heart failure who are able to move around independently.
Even though pulmonary embolism is one of the more common cardiovascular diseases, PTE remains an uncommon procedure. This is due, in part, to the fact that this form of chronic pulmonary hypertension is still largely an underdiagnosed or improperly diagnosed condition.
“Usually patients exhibit heart failure, shortness of breath or come in for heart failure," says Dr. Bartley Griffith, UMMC's chief of cardiac surgery who has been performing the PTE procedure since 2002 "Pulmonary embolisms are very frequently misdiagnosed. It usually isn’t until the person is referred for pulmonary hypertension or lung transplant that this is figured out."