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J Thromb Haemost. 2009 Jun;7(6):938-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2009.03345.x. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Risk stratification and outcomes in hemodynamically stable patients with acute pulmonary embolism: a prospective, multicentre, cohort study with three months of follow-up.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Azienda ospedaliera, Cosenza, Italy.



The role of risk stratification in normotensive patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is still unclear.


We evaluated, in these patients, the usefulness of six prognostic markers for predicting in-hospital adverse events related to PE and 3-month mortality.


Two hundred and one consecutive patients with confirmed acute PE and normal blood pressure, who were administered conventional anticoagulation, were recruited in a multicentre prospective cohort study with 3 months of follow-up. At baseline, they received a comprehensive risk-evaluation including echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular dysfunction, determination of troponin I, brain natriuretic peptide and D-dimer, arterial blood gas analysis and a clinical score. Primary outcome of the study was PE-related in-hospital death or clinical deterioration. Secondary outcomes were in-hospital and 3-month all-cause mortality.


The primary outcome occurred in one patient (0.5%), who died from PE during hospitalization. The in-hospital and 3-month all-cause mortality were 2% and 9%, respectively. None of the prognostic markers was predictive of the primary outcome. Clinical score, troponin I and hypoxemia predicted in-hospital all-cause mortality (P = 0.02, 0.01 and < 0.01, respectively). Clinical score (HR, 4.7; 95% CI, 1.9-12.0), D-dimer (4.8; 1.4-16.3), hypoxemia (5.7; 2.1-15.1) and troponin I (7.5; 2.5-22.7) were predictors of 3-month all-cause mortality on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis clinical score and troponin I remained independently predictive.


We did not find prognostic markers useful as predictors of in-hospital PE-related adverse events. Clinical score, troponin I and hypoxemia predicted in-hospital all-cause mortality. Clinical score and troponin I independently predicted 3-month all-cause mortality.

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