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Case Fatality Rate with Pulmonary Embolectomy for Acute Pulmonary Embolism

There are insufficient data to assess the potential role of pulmonary embolectomy in patients with acute pulmonary embolism.

In-hospital all-cause case fatality rate with pulmonary embolectomy was assessed from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 1999 through 2008.

Among unstable patients (in shock or ventilator-dependent),case fatality rate with embolectomy was 380 of 950 (40%). Among stable patients,case fatality rate was lower:690 of 2820 (24%) (P <.0001). Case fatality rate in unstable patients was 39% in 1999-2003 and 40% in 2004-2008 (not significant),and in stable patients it was 27% in 1999-2003 and 23% in 2004-2008 (P=.01). Case fatality rates were lower in patients with a primary diagnosis of pulmonary embolism and even lower in patients with a primary diagnosis who had none of the comorbid conditions listed in the Charlson Index. Within each stratified group,patients with vena cava filters had a lower case fatality rate.

Case fatality rate in unstable patients who underwent pulmonary embolectomy remained at 39%-40% from 1999-2003 to 2004-2008,and in stable patients it decreased only from 27% to 23%. Case fatality rates were lower in those with fewer comorbid conditions and in those who received a vena cava filter. Our data reflect average outcome in the US. It may be that experienced surgeons and an aggressive multidisciplinary team could obtain a lower case fatality rate.

The American Journal of Medicine

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