Experts from Hospital Clínic – IDIBAPS and Bayer discuss with journalists and patients about a rare pulmonary hypertension

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a rare, progressive and life-threatening disease. The Hospital Clínic of Barcelona is a reference center in Spain for the treatment of this disease. Dr. Joan Albert Barberà, from the Pneumology Service, Dr. Marta Burrel, from the Radiology Service, and the surgeons Dr. José Luis Pomar and Dr. Manuel Castellà, offered a deep insight into the disease in an event held at the IDIBAPS’ CEK building. Two patients explained their first hand experience after undergoing a complex operation called pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). Dr. Hossein-A. Ghofrani and Dr. Johannes-Peter Stasch presented new therapeutic options for inoperable patients developed by Bayer Pharma AG. The results discussed today were presented during the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress taking place in Barcelona.

CTEPH is caused by organized blood clots in pulmonary vessels, leading to increased blood pressure in pulmonary arteries. Multidisciplinary teams discuss the operability of the patient and the appropriate treatment. Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is the first line treatment when operating is recommended (20-40% of patients inoperable mostly due to the localization of clots too deep into the lung). It is the standard and potentially curative treatment by which blood vessels of lungs are cleared of clot and scar material. To date, no approved pharmacological therapy exists to treat inoperable / residual CTEPH.

The results presented today included the interim results from CHEST-2 study, a clinical trial which supports benefits of Bayer’s Riociguat. It showed significant and sustained improvements in six minute walking distance and WHO functional class in patients with inoperable or residual CTEPH. The new treatments to improve the condition of inoperable and recurrent patients after operation, together with a greater awareness of the disease to improve diagnostic, may help to improve the quality of life of patients.

After the event a group of journalists took a tour through the facilities of IDIBAPS – Hospital Clínic of Barcelona to see the path of the patients through the hospital during the pre-operation, operation and recovery process. The visit included the Intensive Care Unit, where Dr. Joan Ramon Badia explained the postoperative hospitalization, and the catheterisation facilities.