Long-term mortality after massive, submassive, and low-risk pulmonary embolism Article (Web of Science)


  • Guidelines for management of normotensive patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) emphasize further risk stratification on the basis of right ventricular (RV) size and biomarkers of RV injury or strain; however, the prognostic importance of these factors on long-term mortality is not known. We performed a retrospective cohort study of subjects diagnosed with acute PE from 2010 to 2015 at a tertiary care academic medical center. The severity of initial PE presentation was categorized into three groups: massive, submassive, and low-risk PE. The primary endpoint of all-cause mortality was ascertained using the Centers for Disease Control National Death Index (CDC NDI). A total of 183 subjects were studied and their median follow-up was 4.1 years. The median age was 65 years. The 30-day mortality rate was 7.7% and the overall mortality rate through the end of follow-up was 40.4%. The overall mortality rates for massive, submassive, and low-risk PE were 71.4%, 44.5%, and 28.1%, respectively ( p < 0.001). Landmark analysis using a 30-day cutpoint demonstrated that subjects presenting with submassive PE compared with low-risk PE had increased mortality during both the short- and the long-term periods. The most frequent causes of death were malignancy, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, and PE. Independent predictors of all-cause mortality were cancer at baseline, age, white blood cell count, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, female sex, and initial presentation with massive PE. In conclusion, the diagnosis of acute PE was associated with substantial long-term mortality. The severity of initial PE presentation was associated with both short- and long-term mortality.


publication date

  • 2020

published in

number of pages

  • 8

start page

  • 141

end page

  • 149


  • 25


  • 2