Core Evid 2020 25;15:31-40. Epub 2020 Aug 25.
Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is classified as group-4 pulmonary hypertension caused by organized thrombi in pulmonary arteries and vasculopathy in nonoccluded areas leading to right heart failure and death. In addition to chronic anticoagulation therapy, each patient with CTEPH should receive treatment assessment starting with evaluation for pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA), which is the guideline recommended treatment. There is increasing experience with balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) for inoperable patients; this option, like PEA, is reserved for specialized centers with expertise in this treatment method. Inoperable patients are candidates for targeted drug therapy. Riociguat remains the only approved medical therapy for CTEPH patients deemed inoperable or with persistent pulmonary hypertension after PEA. The role of riociguat therapy preoperatively or in tandem with BPA is currently under investigation. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of riociguat in the treatment of CTEPH.