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Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Symptoms and Risk Factors

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is high blood pressure in the lungs. This happens when the blood vessels in the lungs are blocked by a clot that prevents normal blood flow and causes pressure in the vessels to build. Normally, CTEPH occurs after a pulmonary embolism (PE) — a sudden blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lung.


Many people who develop CTEPH do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms start to develop, they can include:

  • Shortness of breath during exercise
  • Chest pain/discomfort after exertion
  • Fatigue

Later Stage Symptoms

  • Feeling faint or fainting after exertion
  • Swelling of the legs or abdomen
  • Bluish tint to extremities (fingers and toes)

Severe Cases

Risk Factors

The following conditions can lead to a pulmonary embolism:

  • Being sedentary for long periods of time (i.e. a prolonged hospitalization/illness or air/car travel)
  • Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Minority of people who take blood thinners are able to clear PEs, but could still develop CTEPH for unclear reasons

Other Risk Factors

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of CTEPH, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

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Leading the Nation in Curing this Rare Form of Pulmonary Hypertension

Temple recently achieved a clinical milestone by performing its 200th pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) – a complex procedure offered at only a handful of hospitals in the U.S.

Learn About Our Experience
PHA Center of Comprehensive Care 2019-2023

Recognized Center of Excellence

The Temple Heart & Vascular Institute's Temple Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Heart Failure & CTEPH/PTE Program has earned the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Center of Comprehensive Care designation for our demonstrated ability to effectively diagnose and treat patients with all forms of pulmonary hypertension.