Background: In the literature, echocardiographic assessment of the prognosis of acute pulmonary embolism is based on analysis of right ventricle free-wall motion or on a composite index combining right ventricular dilatation, paradoxical septal wall motion, and pulmonary hypertension. The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic value of a single quantitative echocardiographic criterion, the right/left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (RV/LV) ratio.
Methods: Registry data on 1,416 consecutive patients hospitalized for acute pulmonary embolism were used to study retrospectively a population of 950 patients who underwent echocardiographic assessment on hospital admission and for whom the RV/LV ratio was available.
Results: The hospital mortality rate for the series was 3.3%. Sensitivity and specificity of RV/LV ratio >or= 0.9 for predicting hospital mortality were 72% and 58%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed the independent predictive factors for hospital mortality to be the following: systolic BP < 90 mm Hg (odds ratio [OR], 10.73; p < 0.0001), history of left heart failure (OR, 8.99; p < 0.0001), and RV/LV ratio >or= 0.9 (OR, 2.66; p = 0.01).
Conclusions: In our retrospective series, an echocardiographic RV/LV ratio >or= 0.9 was shown to be an independent predictive factor for hospital mortality. This criterion may be of value in selecting cases of submassive pulmonary embolism with a poor prognosis that are liable to benefit from thrombolytic treatment.