Right heart thrombi in pulmonary embolism

Eur Respir J. 2016 Nov;48(5):1377-1385. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01044-2016. Epub 2016 Oct 6.


There is a lack of comprehensive data on the prevalence, predictors and prognostic significance of right heart thrombi (RHT) in pulmonary embolism.In this study of patients with pulmonary embolism from the Registro Informatizado de la Enfermedad TromboEmbólica (RIETE) registry, we assessed the prevalence and predictors of RHT, and the association between the presence of RHT and the outcomes of all-cause mortality, pulmonary embolism-related mortality, recurrences, and major bleeding through 30 days after initiation of pulmonary embolism treatment.Of 12 441 patients with pulmonary embolism and baseline echocardiographic data, 2.6% had RHT. The following increased the risk of RHT: younger age, previous bleeding, congestive heart failure, cancer, syncope, systolic blood pressure <100 mmHg, and arterial oxyhaemoglobin saturation <90%. Patients with RHT were significantly more likely to die from any cause (adjusted OR 2.50 (95% CI 1.62-3.84); p<0.001) and from pulmonary embolism (adjusted OR 4.29 (95% CI 2.45-7.48); p<0.001) during follow-up. RHT was associated with an increased risk of recurrence during follow-up (1.8% versus 0.7%; p=0.04). Major bleeding was similar in patients with and without RHT.In patients presenting with pulmonary embolism, RHT is relatively infrequent. Patients with RHT had a worse outcome when compared with those without RHT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Comorbidity
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart Failure
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Systole
  • Thrombosis / complications*
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology
  • Thrombosis / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Oxyhemoglobins