Vol 31, No 2 (2024)
Original Article
Published online: 2023-07-28

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Treatment of high- and intermediate-high-risk pulmonary embolism by the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team: Focus on catheter-directed therapies

Arkadiusz Pietrasik1, Paweł Kurzyna1, Piotr Szwed2, Karolina Jasińska-Gniadzik1, Aleksandra Gąsecka1, Szymona Darocha2, Dariusz Zieliński3, Łukasz Szarpak45, Janusz Kochman1, Marcin Grabowski1, Grzegorz Opolski1, Adam Torbicki2, Marcin Kurzyna2
Pubmed: 37519055
Cardiol J 2024;31(2):215-225.


Background: Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Embolism Response Teams (PERTs) were established to individualize the treatment of high-risk (HR) and intermediate-high-risk (IHR) pulmonary embolism (PE) patients, which pose a challenge in clinical practice.

Methods: We retrospectively collected the data of all HR and IHR acute PE patients consulted by PERT CELZAT between September 2017 and October 2022. The patient population was divided into four different treatment methods: anticoagulation alone (AC), systemic thrombolysis (ST), surgical embolectomy (SE), and catheter-directed therapies (CDTx). Baseline clinical characteristics, risk stratification, PE severity parameters, and treatment outcomes were compared between the four groups.

Results: Of the 110 patients with HR and IHR PE, 67 (61%) patients were treated with AC only, 11 (10%) with ST, 15 (14%) underwent SE, and 17 (15%) were treated with CTDx. The most common treatment option in the HR group was reperfusion therapy, used in 20/24 (83%) cases, including ST in 7 (29%) patients, SE in 5 (21%) patients, and CTDx in 8 (33%) patients. In contrast, IHR patients were treated with AC alone in 63/86 (73%) cases. The in-hospital mortality rate was 9/24 (37.5%) in the HR group and 4/86 (4.7%) in the IHR group.

Conclusions: The number of advanced procedures aimed at reperfusion was substantially higher in the HR group than in the IHR PE group. Despite the common use of advanced reperfusion techniques in the HR group, patient mortality remained high. There is a need further to optimize the treatment of patients with HR PE to improve outcomes.

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