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Scand Cardiovasc J. 2012 Jun;46(3):172-6. doi: 10.3109/14017431.2011.642811. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

Surgical treatment of acute pulmonary embolism--a 12-year retrospective analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Blegdamsvej 9, Copenhagen, Denmark. lehnert@dadlnet.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Surgical embolectomy for acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is considered to be a high risk procedure and therefore a last treatment option. We wanted to evaluate the procedures role in modern treatment of acute PE.

DESIGN:

All data on patients treated with surgical embolectomy for acute PE were retrieved from our clinical database. The mortality was extracted from the Danish mortality register.

RESULTS:

From October 1998 to July 2010, 33 patients underwent surgical embolectomy. All procedures were done through a median sternotomy and extracorporeal circulation. Twenty-six patients were diagnosed with a high risk PE and 7 with an intermediate risk PE and intracardial pathology. Six patients had been insufficiently treated with thrombolysis. Thirteen patients had contraindication for thrombolysis. Six patients were brought to the operating theatre in cardiogenic shock, 8 needed ventilator support, and 1 was in cardiac arrest. The postoperative 30-day mortality was 6% and during the 12-year follow-up the cumulative survival was 80% with 4 late deaths.

CONCLUSION:

Surgical pulmonary embolectomy can be performed with low mortality although the treated patients belong to the most compromised part of the PE population. The results support surgical embolectomy as a vital part of the treatment algorithm for acute PE.

PMID:
22369435
DOI:
10.3109/14017431.2011.642811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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