Background: The evidence on the prognostic value of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in elderly, hemodynamically stable patients with Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is limited.
Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of common echocardiographic signs of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and their prognostic impact in hemodynamically stable patients aged ≥65years with acute PE in a prospective multicenter cohort.
Methods: TTE was performed by cardiologists. We defined RV dysfunction as a RV/left ventricular ratio >0.9 or RV hypokinesis (primary definition) or the presence of ≥1 or ≥2 of 6 predefined echocardiographic signs (secondary definitions). Outcomes were overall mortality and mortality/non-fatal recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) at 30days, adjusting for the Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index risk score and highly sensitive troponin T values.
Results: Of 400 patients, 36% had RV dysfunction based on our primary definition, and 81% (≥1 sign) and 53% (≥2 signs) based on our secondary definitions, respectively. Using our primary definition, there was no association between RV dysfunction and mortality (adjusted HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.31-2.58) and mortality/non-fatal VTE (adjusted HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.40-2.98). Similarly, there was no statistically significant association between the presence of ≥1 or ≥2 echocardiographic signs (secondary definitions) and clinical outcomes.
Conclusion: The prevalence of echocardiographic RV dysfunction varied widely depending upon the definition used. There was no association between RV dysfunction and clinical outcomes. Thus, TTE may not be suitable as a stand-alone risk assessment tool in elderly patients with acute PE.
Clinical trial registration: http://clinicaltrials.gov. Identifier: NCT00973596.
Keywords: Echocardiography; Mortality; Pulmonary embolism.
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