Clinical characteristics of acute pulmonary thromboembolism in Japan: results of a multicenter registry in the Japanese Society of Pulmonary Embolism Research

Clin Cardiol. 2001 Feb;24(2):132-8. doi: 10.1002/clc.4960240207.


Background: Although the incidence of acute pulmonary thromboembolism (APTE) has been increasing in Japan, patient characteristics, management strategies, and outcome have not yet been assessed in large series.

Hypothesis: The present study was designed to investigate the current status of APTE in Japan.

Methods: Of a total of 533 registry patients with pulmonary thromboembolism, 309 with APTE were analyzed with respect to clinical symptoms and signs, predisposing factors, diagnostic procedures, estimation of deep venous thrombosis, treatment, and clinical course.

Results: Main risk factors were recent major surgery, cancer, prolonged immobilization, and obesity; only a few patients had coagulopathy and 36% were in cardiogenic shock at presentation. The majority of registry patients underwent lung scans or pulmonary angiography; 30% were diagnosed only by lung scanning. Venous ultrasonography was used in only 34 patients, while 188 patients underwent at least one diagnostic procedure for deep venous thrombosis. Thrombolysis was more frequently performed in patients with cardiogenic shock, and only a few patients received thromboembolectomy. In-hospital mortality rate was 14%. In patients with cardiogenic shock, the mortality rate was reduced by thrombolysis. The predictors of in-hospital mortality were male gender, cardiogenic shock, cancer, and prolonged immobilization.

Conclusions: The patients in this registry had almost the same findings as those in Western patients, except for some points that had the possibility of demonstrating a difference between Westerners and Japanese in the development of APTE. These results can prove especially helpful in planning prospective, randomized trials that will clarify the impact of widely used treatment modalities on the outcome of patients with APTE.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnosis


  • Anticoagulants