Differences in referral to a chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension center following acute pulmonary embolism: a locoregional experience

Ruben Mylvaganam*, Romy Lawrence, Isaac Goldberg, Farbod Rahaghi, Stephen Chiu, S. Christopher Malaisrie, Daniel Schimmel, Ryan Avery, Karlyn Martin, Michael J. Cuttica

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a treatable complication of acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Identification of factors that impact referral to a comprehensive CTEPH center may improve disease awareness and patient outcomes. We conducted a study of patients with acute PE. Cases were identified through a natural language processing algorithm. ICD coding was used to assess clinical documentation for dyspnea or CTEPH placed at least 90 days after their acute PE diagnosis. We analyzed characteristics of patients who were referred vs. not referred, as well as referral patterns for “at risk” patients. 2454 patients with acute PE were identified, of which 4.9% (120/2454) were referred for CTEPH evaluation. Patients who were not referred were older (61 vs. 54 years, p < 0.001), had higher rates of cancer (28% vs. 10%, p < 0.001), and lived further from the referral center (9.1 miles vs. 6.7 miles, p = 0.03). Of 175 patients identified as “at risk,” 12% (21/175) were referred. In the ‘at risk’ cohort, distance from referral center among referred and not referred was significant (5.7 miles vs. 8.8 miles, p = 0.04). There were low rates of referral to CTEPH center in post-PE patients, and in patients with symptoms who may be at higher risk of CTEPH. Age, co-morbid conditions, distance from comprehensive center, and presence of a primary care provider contribute to differences in referral to a comprehensive CTEPH center. Clinician education about CTEPH is important to ensure optimal care to patients with or at risk for chronic complications of acute PE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of thrombosis and thrombolysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension
  • Differences
  • Dyspnea
  • Referral
  • Venous thromboembolic event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Hematology


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