Four key questions surrounding thrombolytic therapy for submassive pulmonary embolism

Vasc Med. 2016 Feb;21(1):47-52. doi: 10.1177/1358863X15614388. Epub 2015 Nov 12.


Submassive pulmonary embolism (PE) remains a vexing entity, and the appropriate use of thrombolytic therapy for this subgroup continues to be actively debated. Catheter-directed thrombolysis has shown efficacy for submassive PE and is gaining momentum because of theoretically improved safety. This review poses and responds to four questions that explore the complex issues surrounding optimal therapy of submassive PE.

Keywords: catheter-directed therapy; pulmonary embolism; submassive PE; thrombolysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Swan-Ganz
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pulmonary Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Radiography
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / mortality
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents