Quality of life 1 month after acute pulmonary embolism in emergency department patients

Acad Emerg Med. 2023 Aug;30(8):819-831. doi: 10.1111/acem.14692. Epub 2023 Mar 8.


Objective: The Pulmonary Embolism Quality-of-Life (PEmb-QoL) questionnaire assesses quality of life (QoL) after pulmonary embolism (PE). We aimed to determine whether any clinical or pathophysiologic features of PE were associated with worse PEmb-QoL scores 1 month after PE.

Methods: In this prospective multicenter registry, we conducted PEmb-QoL questionnaires. We determined differences in QoL domain scores for four primary variables: clinical deterioration (death, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, hypotension requiring fluid bolus, catecholamine support, or new dysrhythmia), right ventricular dysfunction (RVD), PE risk stratification, and subsequent rehospitalization. For overall QoL score, we fit a multivariable regression model that included these four primary variables as independent variables.

Results: Of 788 PE patients participating in QoL assessments, 156 (19.8%) had a clinical deterioration event, 236 (30.7%) had RVD of which 38 (16.1%) had escalated interventions. For those without and with clinical deterioration, social limitations had mean (±SD) scores of 2.07 (±1.27) and 2.36 (±1.47), respectively (p = 0.027). For intensity of complaints, mean (±SD) scores for patients without RVD (4.32 ± 2.69) were significantly higher than for those with RVD with or without reperfusion interventions (3.82 ± 1.81 and 3.83 ± 2.11, respectively; p = 0.043). There were no domain score differences between PE risk stratification groups. All domain scores were worse for patients with rehospitalization versus without. By multivariable analysis, worse total PEmb-QoL scores with effect sizes were subsequent rehospitalization 11.29 (6.68-15.89), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 8.17 (3.91-12.43), and longer index hospital length of stay 0.06 (0.03-0.08).

Conclusions: Acute clinical deterioration, RVD, and PE severity were not predictors of QoL at 1 month post-PE. Independent predictors of worsened QoL were rehospitalization, COPD, and index hospital length of stay.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Clinical Deterioration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right* / complications