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Ann Thorac Surg. 2010 Dec;90(6):1747-52. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.08.002.

Early and late clinical outcomes of pulmonary embolectomy for acute massive pulmonary embolism.

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1
Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study was to investigate the early and late outcomes of patients undergoing pulmonary embolectomy for acute massive pulmonary embolus.

METHODS:

Twenty-one patients (15 male, 6 female) underwent pulmonary embolectomy at our institution between March 2001 and July 2010. The median age was 55 years (range, 24 to 70 years). Of these, 9 patients presented with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and 8 presented with New York Heart Association class III or IV. Sixteen patients underwent preoperative transthoracic echocardiography, which showed evidence of right ventricular dilatation in all, whereas in 14 patients (66.6%) pulmonary artery pressures were significantly elevated with moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation. The median preoperative Euroscore was 9 (range, 3 to 16), and 11 patients (52.1%) received systemic thrombolysis preoperatively. There were 6 salvage (28.5%), 10 emergency (47.6%), and 5 urgent (23.8%) procedures. Concomitant procedures were performed in 3 patients (14.2%), and surgery was performed without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass in 3 patients (14.2%). The median follow-up was 38 months (range, 0 to 114 months).

RESULTS:

The in-hospital mortality was 19% (n = 4). Postoperative complications included stroke (n = 3, 14.2%), lower respiratory tract infection (n = 6, 28.5%), wound infection (n = 3, 14.2%), acute renal failure requiring hemofiltration (n = 4, 19%), and supraventricular tachyarrhythmias (n = 4, 19%). At discharge, transthoracic echocardiography showed mild to moderate right ventricular dysfunction and dilatation in 11 survivors (64.7%). Two patients died during follow-up, and actuarial survival at 5 years was 76.9% ± 10.1% and at 8 years was 51.2% ± 22.0%. At final follow-up, 11 of the 15 survivors (73.3%) were New York Heart Association class I, and no patients required further intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients who undergo surgery for massive pulmonary embolism have an acceptable outcome despite being high-risk.

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