Saddle pulmonary embolism and in-hospital mortality in patients with cancer

Int J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jun;24(6):727-730. doi: 10.1007/s10147-019-01406-0. Epub 2019 Feb 12.


Purpose: Saddle pulmonary embolism (PE) has been associated with an increased risk of 1 year mortality when compared to non-saddle PE among patients with cancer. We sought to evaluate the association between saddle PE and in-hospital outcomes among patients with comorbid cancer.

Methods: The 2013 and 2014 United States National Inpatient Sample was used to identify adult patients hospitalized for acute PE. Only patients with an International Classification Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code indicating comorbid cancer were included. Identified admissions were stratified into the following 2 cohorts: saddle (defined as ICD-9-CM code = 415.13) and non-saddle PE. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine the association between saddle PE and the odds of in-hospital mortality after adjustment for age ≥ 80 years and sex.

Results: A total of 10,660 admissions for acute PE in patients with comorbid cancer were identified. Of which, 4.5% (n = 475) had a saddle PE. Median age was 67 years (interquartile range = 58-76) and 48.9% were male. In-hospital mortality occurred in 6.1% of patients. Upon multivariable adjustment, the odds of in-hospital mortality were higher in saddle versus non-saddle PE (odds ratio = 1.51; 95% confidence interval 1.08-2.10).

Conclusion: In this retrospective study of admissions for acute PE in patients with comorbid cancer, saddle PE was associated with a higher odds of in-hospital mortality.

Keywords: Hospital mortality; Neoplasms; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thromboembolism; Venous thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States