Exercise Training after Pulmonary Endarterectomy for Patients with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension

Maria Teresa La Rovere, Gian Domenico Pinna, Maurizio Pin, Claudio Bruschi, Giovanna Callegari, Ercole Zanotti, Andrea D'Armini, Nicolino Ambrosino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: After undergoing a procedure of pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA), patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) may still experience reduced exercise capacity. Data on effects of exercise training in these patients are scant. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of exercise training after PEA for CTEPH and if the presence of "residual pulmonary hypertension" may affect the outcome. Methods: Retrospective data analysis of CTEPH patients undergoing inpatient exercise training after PEA. According to predefined criteria, patients were divided into those with (group 1) and without (group 2) a "good" post-surgery hemodynamic response. Assessments of the 6-min walking distance test (6-min walking distance test [6 MWT]: primary outcome) were performed before and after surgery (before training), after training and at 3-month follow-up. Hemodynamic and lung function data were also analyzed. Results: Data of 84 and 26 patients of groups 1 and 2, respectively, were analyzed. After surgery patients showed a reduction in 6 MWT, which significantly reversed after training and further improved at 3 months (p = 0.0001), without any significant difference between groups. The percentage of patients reaching the minimal clinically important difference in 6 MWT was similar between groups. The sig<X00-Del-TrennDivis>-</X00-Del-TrennDivis>nificant (p = 0.0001) post-surgery improvement in hemodynamics was maintained at 3 months without any significant difference between groups. New York Heart Association functional class improved in parallel to the hemodynamic improvement. Conclusions: Exercise training in patients with CTEPH after PEA, an inpatient exercise training program, improves exercise capacity for up to 3 months, independently of the post-surgery hemodynamic response.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
  • Exercise capacity
  • Exercise training
  • Exertional dyspnoea
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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