Initiation of a Multidisciplinary, Rapid Response Team to Massive and Submassive Pulmonary Embolism

Am J Cardiol. 2017 Oct 15;120(8):1393-1398. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2017.07.033. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Pulmonary embolism (PE) can result in rapid clinical decompensation in many patients. With increasing patient complexity and advanced treatment options for PE, multidisciplinary, rapid response teams can optimize risk stratification and expedite management strategies. The Massive And Submassive Clot On-call Team (MASCOT) was created at our institution, which comprised specialists from cardiology, pulmonology, hematology, interventional radiology, and cardiac surgery. MASCOT offers rapid consultation 24 hours a day with a web-based conference call to review patient data and discuss management of patients with high-risk PE. We reviewed patient data collected from MASCOT's registry to analyze patient clinical characteristics and outcomes and describe the composition and operation of the team. Between August 2015 and September 2016, MASCOT evaluated 72 patients. Seventy of the 72 patients were admitted to our institution, accounting for 32% of all patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of PE. Average age was 62 ± 17 years with a female predominance (63%). Active malignancy (31%), recent surgery or trauma (21%), and recent hospitalization (24%) were common. PE clinical severity was massive in 16% and submassive in 83%. Patients were managed with anticoagulation alone in 65% (n = 46), systemic fibrinolysis in 11% (n = 8), catheter-directed therapy in 18% (n = 13), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in 3% (n = 2), and an inferior vena cava filter was placed in 15% (n = 11). Thirteen percent (n = 9) experienced a major bleed with no intracranial hemorrhage. Survival to discharge was 89% (64% with massive PE and 93% with submassive PE). In conclusion, multidisciplinary, rapid response PE teams offer a unique coordinated approach to patient care.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vena Cava Filters*


  • Anticoagulants