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CTEPH Program

To make an appointment, please call 212-263-1260.

Our team of specialists has extensive experience diagnosing and managing chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that can develop after pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot of the arteries in the lungs. We provide expert and thorough CTEPH care, including medical, interventional, and surgical therapy that we personalize to each patient.

The CTEPH program is led by Roxana Sulica, MD, a nationally recognized pulmonologist with decades of pulmonary hypertension experience who is director of the NYU Langone Pulmonary Hypertension Program, and Justin C. Chan, MD, who has extensive expertise in pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, a highly specialized surgery and effective treatment for the condition.

Our team of doctors includes highly trained pulmonologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional and heart failure cardiologists, chest radiologists, and vascular interventional radiologists, and intensive and critical care specialists. We work closely with you to diagnose and manage CTEPH with a care plan tailored to your medical needs. Physical therapists specializing in pulmonary or cardiac rehabilitation at Rusk Rehabilitation may also be a part of your care plan.

Scientific investigation is also an important part of our CTEPH Program. We collaborate with international CTEPH experts on research to advance our understanding of the condition and to improve treatment options.

What Causes CTEPH?

CTEPH is a rare form of pulmonary hypertension, which is elevated blood pressure in the lungs. The condition occurs when blood vessels in the lung have been blocked by a clot for a long time. The clots that trigger CTEPH often form elsewhere, most commonly in the leg, a condition known as deep venous thrombosis. A clot in the leg can travel to the heart and lung and become lodged in the lung vessels. This is known as a pulmonary embolism. A clot can also form from within the lung: this is known as a thrombus.

Most pulmonary clots resolve on their own or with the use of anticoagulants, also called blood thinners. However, in CTEPH, the clot does not resolve and becomes scar tissue on the inside of a lung artery. This scar tissue can make it harder for blood to flow through the lungs, and it increases the work of the right side of the heart. These are some of the symptoms people with CTEPH have:

  • shortness of breath, especially during physical activity
  • chest pain and discomfort
  • swelling of the legs
  • heart palpitations, dizzy spells, and blackouts

Over time, pressure in blood vessels of the lungs can cause the right side of the heart to become weak. If left untreated, this can lead to right heart failure and, in severe cases, death. CTEPH affects up to 5 percent of people who have pulmonary embolism. About half of those with CTEPH are not aware of a prior deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

Make an Appointment

To learn more about our program and schedule an appointment, please call 212-263-1260.