Frequency of computed tomography abnormalities in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: a comparative study between lung perfusion scan and computed tomography pulmonary angiography

  • Ahmed Fathala | Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Cardiovascular Imaging, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Alaa Aldurabi Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia.


Background: Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is one of the leading causes of pulmonary hypertension. Diagnosis of CTEPH can be established using various imaging techniques, including ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy (VQ) and multidetector computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA). The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of direct pulmonary vascular, parenchymal lung, and cardiac abnormalities on CTPA in patients with CTEPH and to compare the diagnostic accuracy of both VQ scan CTPA in detecting CTEPH.
Methods: we retrospectively included 54 patients who had been referred for pulmonary hypertension service (20 males, 34 females). All patients had VQ scan and CTPA within 15 days and underwent pulmonary artery endarterectomy (PEA) thereafter. VQ scan were reported according to modified PIOPED (Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis) criteria. CTPA was considered as diagnostic for CTEPH if it showed presence of thrombus, webs, stenosis, or perfusion lung abnormalities.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 41±10 years. The mean pulmonary artery pressure was 53±13 mmHg. Fifty-three of 54 patients in the study population had high probability VQ scan and one patient had intermediate probability. CTPA was suggestive of CTEPH in all patients. The most frequent CTPA findings in the central pulmonary arteries and peripheral arteries were presence of thrombotic materials, abnormal vessel tapering and abrupt vessels-cut off (76% vs 65%, 67% vs 48%, and 48% vs 22%), respectively. The mosaic lung perfusion was present in 78% in the patients, and various cardiac morphology abnormalities were presents and most common was abnormal right to left ventricle ratio, 69%.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that both VQ scan and CTPA are highly sensitive for the detection of CTEPH confirmed by PEA. Most CTEPH patients had several pulmonary vascular, parenchymal lung and cardiac abnormalities. There was no sign with 100% sensitivity on CTPA for CTEPH detection.



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Original Research Articles
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, VQ scintigraphy, multidetector computed tomography (CT) pulmonary angiography (CTPA), pulmonary hypertension
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How to Cite
Fathala, A., & Aldurabi, A. (2021). Frequency of computed tomography abnormalities in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: a comparative study between lung perfusion scan and computed tomography pulmonary angiography. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 16.