Longterm follow-up of patients with pulmonary thromboembolism. Late prognosis and evolution of hemodynamic and respiratory data

Chest. 1982 Feb;81(2):151-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.81.2.151.


Seventy-six patients with various forms of pulmonary thromboembolic disease were followed-up for 1 to 15 years. All were free of other cardiopulmonary disease at the time of the first examination which was performed at least two months after the last pulmonary embolism. Catheterization was repeated in all survivors on average 4.8 years later. Severe chronic pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure (PPA greater than 30 mm Hg) did not occur after a single episode of acute embolism, was infrequent after single subacute or recurrent emboli (8 of 9 patients), and was common after occult emboli (12 of 13 patients). Mortality in all clinical groups correlated with PPA and with the presence of right heart failure. In survivors, no correlation was found between the longterm changes of PPA and age, duration of disease, interval between catheterizations, PaO2, or cardiac output. Pulmonary hypertension progressed further in patients with initial PPA greater than 30 mm Hg. In contrast, none of the patients with normal or borderline PPA at the initial examination developed severe pulmonary hypertension during the follow-up. Since the future course of patients could be predicted from the first examination, repeated hemodynamic investigation proved to be of minor prognostic value.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Function Tests