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Case report
Improvement after bariatric surgery in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: a novel treatment target

Abstract

A 66-year-old man with a medical history significant for multiple pulmonary embolism and morbid obesity was evaluated for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Echocardiogram and right heart catheterisation were significant for severe pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, he was started on pulmonary hypertension medical therapy with riociguat and ambrisentan, in addition to anticoagulation. He experienced a dramatic clinical response to medical therapy. Despite haemodynamic improvement, the patient remained symptomatic with significant fatigue, exertional dyspnea and poor functional status as highlighted by a 6 min walk distance of only 128 m. Patient was referred for bariatric surgery with a gastric sleeve, after which he successfully lost 95 lbs in 6 months. Postoperative right heart catheterisation demonstrated normal pulmonary  vascular resistance and cardiac output. His echocardiogram revealed normal right ventricular size and function. His 6 min walk distance also nearly quadrupled from 128 to 512 m, consistent with WHO Functional Class I.

  • venous thromboembolism
  • obesity (nutrition)
  • pulmonary hypertension

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