Pulmonary hypertension (PH), a serious disorder with a high morbidity and mortality rate, is known to occur in a number of unrelated systemic diseases. β-Thalassaemia, among other haematological disorders, develop PH which is not an infrequent finding and worsens the prognosis. Haemolysis, iron overload and hypercoagulable state are among the main pathogenetic mechanisms. Haemoglobinopathies and congenital haemolytic anaemia constitute a unique patients population more predisposed to developing chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Although pulmonary endarterectomy is accepted as the best treatment for CTEPH, surgery in these patients poses significant practical challenges given the distinct nature of the disease. As drug therapy is not expected to offer relief from the mechanical obstructions of pulmonary arteries and the use of specific pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs is not established in thalassaemia patients, the novel technique of balloon pulmonary angioplasty (BPA) may emerge as a new therapeutic option for patients with inoperable CTEPH and thalassaemia. We are reporting the case of a thalassaemic patient with a history of splenectomy suffering from progressive severe pulmonary hypertension related to chronic thromboembolic disease, who was successfully treated by BPA with substantial improvement.
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Conflict of interest
Panagiotis Karyofyllis has received lecture fees from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Hellas, Bayer Hellas, and GlaxoSmithKline. Eftychia Demerouti has received lecture fees from Actelion Pharmaceuticals Hellas, Bayer Hellas, GlaxoSmithKline and MSD Hellas. All other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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