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J Thromb Haemost. 2010 Nov;8(11):2412-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2010.04041.x.

Safety of outpatient treatment in acute pulmonary embolism.

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1
Department of General Practice, School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) and Laboratory for Clinical Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Data regarding outpatient treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE) is scarce. This study evaluates the safety of outpatient management of acute PE.

METHODS:

This is a retrospective cohort study of consecutive patients presenting at the Ottawa Hospital with acute PE diagnosed between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2008. PE was defined as an arterial filling defect on CTPA or a high probability V/Q scan. Patients were managed as outpatients if they were hemodynamically stable, did not require supplemental oxygenation and did not have contraindications to low-molecular-weight heparin therapy.

RESULTS:

In this cohort of 473 patients with acute PE, 260 (55.0%) were treated as outpatients and 213 (45.0%) were admitted to the hospital. The majority of the patients were admitted because of severe comorbidities (45.5%) or hypoxia (22.1%). No outpatient died of fatal PE during the 3-month follow-up period. At the end of follow-up, the overall mortality was 5.0% (95% CI, 2.7-8.4%). The rates of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in outpatients were 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0-2.1%) and 3.8% (95% CI, 1.9-7.0%) within 14 days and 3 months, respectively. The rates of major bleeding episodes were 0% (95% CI, 0-1.4%) and 1.5% (95% CI, 0.4-3.9%) within 14 days and 3 months, respectively. Four (1.5%) outpatients were admitted to the hospital within 14 days.

CONCLUSIONS:

A majority of patients with acute PE can be managed as outpatients with a low risk of mortality, recurrent VTE and major bleeding episodes.

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