Home treatment in pulmonary embolism

Thromb Res. 2010 Jul;126(1):e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2009.09.026. Epub 2009 Oct 24.


Background: Limited data exist on the feasibility of providing outpatient care to patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE).

Methods: We conducted a multicenter randomized clinical trial in acute symptomatic PE to compare the efficacy and safety of early discharge versus standard hospitalization. A clinical prediction rule was used to identify low-risk patients. All patients were followed for three months. The primary outcomes were venous thromboembolic recurrences, major and minor bleeding, and overall mortality.

Results: One hundred and thirty two low-risk patients with acute symptomatic PE were randomized to early discharge (n=72) or standard hospitalization (n=60). Overall mortality was 4.2% (95% CI, 0.5-8.9) in the early discharge group and 8.3% (95% CI, 1.1-15) in the standard hospitalization group (Relative Risk (RR) 0.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-2.01). Non-fatal recurrences were 2.8% (95% CI, 1.1-6.6) in the early discharge group and 3.3% (95% CI, 1.3-8%) in the standard hospitalization group (RR 0.8; 95% CI, 0.12-5.74). The rates of clinically relevant bleeding were 5.5% in the early discharge group and 5% in the standard hospitalization group (P=0.60). Short-term mortality was 2.8% (95% CI, 0.8-9.6%) in the early discharge group as compared with 0% in the standard hospitalization group. Based on the rate of short-term death in a carefully selected population, the study was suspended.

Conclusions: In spite of the number of complications in patients with acute symptomatic PE randomized to standard hospitalization or early discharge did not differ significantly. The rate of short-term mortality was unexpectedly high in a (a priori) low-risk group of patients with acute PE. The accuracy of clinical prediction scores needs to be validated in well designed clinical trials. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00214929.).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk
  • Thromboembolism / complications
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00214929