Thrombolytic therapy of pulmonary embolism: a comprehensive review of current evidence

Chest. 1999 Jun;115(6):1695-707. doi: 10.1378/chest.115.6.1695.


Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common disorder that is accompanied by significant morbidity and mortality. Although anticoagulation is the standard treatment for PE, thrombolytic therapy, with its ability to produce rapid clot lysis, has long been considered an attractive alternative. Although many studies have been performed over the past three decades, however, the indications for the use of thrombolytic agents in patients with PE remain controversial. In this article, we review the medical literature and provide evidence-based guidelines for the use of thrombolytic therapy. We will also discuss the practical aspects of PE thrombolysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Decision Making
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Fibrinolytic Agents