Background: Low NT-proBNP levels are associated with an uncomplicated course in patients with pulmonary embolism (PE). The aim of this multicenter management study was to investigate the safety of home treatment of patients with PE with low (< 500 pg mL(-1)) NT-proBNP.
Methods and results: Hemodynamically stable outpatients with acute PE and NT-proBNP level < 500 pg mL(-1) were included. Patients were discharged immediately from the emergency room or within a maximum of 24 h after admission. The primary study objective was the absence of mortality during the first 10 days of treatment. Secondary objectives were the incidence of re-admission due to PE or its treatment and the patient's satisfaction during the first 10 days of treatment as well as the incidence of serious adverse events during the 3-month follow-up period. Of 351 patients, 152 (43%) fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were treated as outpatients. No deaths, major bleedings or recurrent venous thromboembolism occurred in the first 10 days of treatment or in the follow-up period of 3 months in these patients. Seven patients required readmission in the first 10 days: three because of complaints that could be related to PE and four due to an illness unrelated to PE. The HADS-A anxiety score did not change significantly between day 0 and day 10. The PSQ-18 showed a high score for satisfaction with home treatment.
Conclusion: Out of hospital treatment is safe in hemodynamically stable patients with PE with low (< 500 pg mL(-1)) NT-proBNP levels. Approximately 45% of patients with PE can be treated in an outpatient setting. Patients do not consider out of hospital treatment as inconvenient and have no increase in anxiety scores.
Clinical trial registration information: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00455819.