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Long term prognosis of acute pulmonary embolism

      Highlights

      • Acute pulmonary embolism attributable to a neoplasia associates with the worst prognosis.
      • Approximately 80% of patients with acute PE attributable to a neoplasia die within 1-year.
      • Idiopathic PE portends higher death risk than PE secondary to a non-neoplastic condition.
      • Acute idiopathic PE should be looked at as a worrisome clinical entity.

      Abstract

      Background

      Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) can be fatal if left untreated. Long-term prognosis of acute PE in the 21st century has not been fully reported. We aimed to determine the long-term prognosis of patients hospitalized with acute PE and compare survivalof patients with idiopathic and secondary PE.

      Materials and methods

      We retrospectively analysed a cohort of hospitalized patients with acute PE between 2006 and 2013. Exclusion criteria:<18 years, venous embolism of non-pulmonary veins, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, and presumptive diagnosis without image confirmation. Only patients with a first PE episode were included. End-point: all-cause mortality. Patients were compared according to PE aetiology: idiopathic, secondary to neoplastic conditions and secondary to non-neoplastic conditions. A Cox-regression analysis was used to study the prognostic impact of PE aetiology. RESULTS: We studied 872 hospitalized acute PE patients. Median age 70 years, 56.9% were women. PE was idiopathic in 376 (43.1%), secondary to a neoplastic condition in 284 (32.6%) and secondary to a condition other than neoplasia in 212 (24.3%). Patients were followed for a median 25 months period and 508 (58.3%) died. Patients with PE attributed to a neoplastic condition had the worst survival. Patients with idiopathic PE had a multivariate-adjusted HR of mortality of 1.46 (1.08–1.99) during the over 2-year follow-up period when compared to those with acute PE attributed to a non-neoplastic condition.

      Conclusions

      Patients with idiopathic acute PE have an almost 50% higher death risk in a median 2-year follow-up period than those with acute PE secondary to a condition other than neoplasia.

      Keywords

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