Risk management in acute pulmonary embolism: correlation between right heart dysfunction, pulmonary clots distribution, biomarkers and prognosis

Submitted: 2 May 2013
Accepted: 2 May 2013
Published: 3 May 2013
Abstract Views: 819
PDF: 758
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BACKGROUND Right heart dysfunction (RHD) is related to adverse outcomes in acute pulmonary embolism (PE). AIM OF THE STUDY To evaluate the relation between RHD, pulmonary clots distribution and biomarkers and prognosis of patients with PE.
METHODS We analysed echocardiographic data of 70 patients with diagnosis of PE confirmed by pulmonary computer tomography, hCT. We considered the enddiastolic right/left ventricles ratio > 1 as index of RHD; echocardiographic data were compared with clots distribution in pulmonary vascular tree such as hCT findings and biomarkers. For each patient we calculated the shock index (heart rate/systolic blood pressure ratio, shock defined as ratio ‰¥ 1).
RESULTS Hospital mortality was 8.5%. Mean age of dead patients was significantly higher compared to alive (85.67 vs 71.57 years, p < 0.05). 41% of patients revealed unilateral PE, 59% had bilateral. In 10% of patients main pulmonary artery was interested by clot, 48% of patients had involved one of the main branches, 90% had involved at least one of the lobar branches, 59% one of segmental branches of pulmonary arteries. 52% of patients had RHD. Mortality in RHD patients was 14.8% vs 8% in no RHD, p < 0.05. Mean values of troponin I and D-dimer were significantly higher in RHD patients. Shock index was ‰¥ 1 in 37.5% of RHD and 20% in no RHD. RHD patients showed significantly higher involvement of main pulmonary artery and its branches and higher bilateral involvement.
CONCLUSIONS RHD is related to proximal and bilateral pulmonary clots distribution and troponin I and D-dimer values and poorer prognosis.

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How to Cite

Masotti, L., Antonelli, F., Venturini, E., & Landini, G. (2013). Risk management in acute pulmonary embolism: correlation between right heart dysfunction, pulmonary clots distribution, biomarkers and prognosis. Italian Journal of Medicine, 2(3), 23–29. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2008.3.23

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