Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome: Risk factors and management

Keren Rosen, Ehud Raanani, Alexander Kogan, Gili Kenet, Mudi Misgav, Aharon Lubetsky, Stanely Niznik, Hans Joachim Schäfers, Michael J. Segel, Nancy Agmon-Levin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) may cause chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Current knowledge regarding prevalence and risk factors for CTEPH among APS patients is limited. We sought to determine clinical features and biomarkers that could identify APS subjects suffering from CTEPH, and describe the prevalence, course and treatment outcomes of patients with APS-CTEPH. Methods: 504 APS patients were treated in our center during 2008 to 2019. We studied clinical and laboratory features of 69 APS patients, comparing 19 patients diagnosed with CTEPH (APS-CTEPH) and treated accordingly, with 50 consecutive age and gender matched patients with no evidence of pulmonary hypertension (APS-No-CTEPH). Results: CTEPH prevalence was 3.8% in our APS cohort and was linked with the following parameters: primary APS (p < 0.05); prior pulmonary embolism (p < 0.001); recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) (p < 0.001); lower platelet counts (p < 0.001); triple anti-phospholipid antibodies positivity (p < 0.001), higher titers of anti-cardiolipin IgG (p < 0.001), anti-B2GPI IgG (p < 0.001), and high Russell viper venom time ratio (RVVT-ratio) (p < 0.05). Additionally, history of catastrophic APS was more prevalent in APS-CTEPH vs APS-No-CTEPH (p < 0.05). Of APS-CTEPH patients, 15/19 underwent pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA): In 12/15 the procedure was elective and resulted in good perioperative and long-term outcomes, while only 1 of 3 patients that underwent urgent PEA survived. Conclusions: CTEPH is relatively common in APS. Primary APS, prior PE, recurrent VTE, thrombocytopenia and specific anti-phospholipid antibodies predict CTEPH in APS. Active assessment for CTEPH in APS patients should be considered, as PEA was found to be effective and relatively safe, especially if electively performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
  • endarterectomy
  • pulmonary embolism
  • pulmonary hypertension


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