Risk stratification and outcomes in hemodynamically stable patients with acute pulmonary embolism: a prospective, multicentre, cohort study with three months of follow-up

J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Jun;7(6):938-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03345.x. Epub 2009 Mar 19.


Background: The role of risk stratification in normotensive patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is still unclear.

Objectives: We evaluated, in these patients, the usefulness of six prognostic markers for predicting in-hospital adverse events related to PE and 3-month mortality.

Patients/methods: Two hundred and one consecutive patients with confirmed acute PE and normal blood pressure, who were administered conventional anticoagulation, were recruited in a multicentre prospective cohort study with 3 months of follow-up. At baseline, they received a comprehensive risk-evaluation including echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular dysfunction, determination of troponin I, brain natriuretic peptide and D-dimer, arterial blood gas analysis and a clinical score. Primary outcome of the study was PE-related in-hospital death or clinical deterioration. Secondary outcomes were in-hospital and 3-month all-cause mortality.

Results: The primary outcome occurred in one patient (0.5%), who died from PE during hospitalization. The in-hospital and 3-month all-cause mortality were 2% and 9%, respectively. None of the prognostic markers was predictive of the primary outcome. Clinical score, troponin I and hypoxemia predicted in-hospital all-cause mortality (P = 0.02, 0.01 and < 0.01, respectively). Clinical score (HR, 4.7; 95% CI, 1.9-12.0), D-dimer (4.8; 1.4-16.3), hypoxemia (5.7; 2.1-15.1) and troponin I (7.5; 2.5-22.7) were predictors of 3-month all-cause mortality on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis clinical score and troponin I remained independently predictive.

Conclusions: We did not find prognostic markers useful as predictors of in-hospital PE-related adverse events. Clinical score, troponin I and hypoxemia predicted in-hospital all-cause mortality. Clinical score and troponin I independently predicted 3-month all-cause mortality.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / physiopathology*
  • Recurrence