Inpatient Management of Pulmonary Embolism: Clinical Characteristics and Mortality in a High-Volume Tertiary Care Center

Harsha V. Mudrakola, Sean M. Caples, Robert J. Hyde, Robert D. McBane, Sumera R. Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optimal management strategy for submassive or intermediate risk pulmonary embolism (IRPE)—anticoagulation alone versus anticoagulation plus advanced therapies—remains in equipoise leading many institutions to create multidisciplinary PE response teams (PERTs) to guide therapy. Cause-specific mortality of IRPE has not been thoroughly examined, which is a meaningful outcome when examining the effect of specific interventions for PE. In this retrospective study, we reviewed all adult inpatient admissions between 8/1/2018 and 8/1/2019 with an encounter diagnosis of PE to study all cause and PE cause specific mortality as the primary outcomes and bleeding complications from therapies as a secondary outcome. There were 429 total inpatient admissions, of which 59.7% were IRPE. The IRPE 30-day all-cause mortality was 8.7% and PE cause-specific mortality was 0.79%. Treatment consisted of anticoagulation alone in 93.4% of cases. Advanced therapies—systemic thrombolysis, catheter directed thrombolysis, or mechanical thrombectomy, were performed in only six IRPE cases (2.3%). Decompensation of IRPE cases requiring higher level of care and/or rescue advanced therapy occurred in only five cases (2%). In-hospital major bleeding and clinically relevant non-major bleeding were more common in those receiving systemic thrombolysis (61.5%) compared to anticoagulation combined with other advanced therapies (11.7%). Despite the high overall acuity of PE cases at our institution, in-hospital all-cause mortality was low and cause-specific mortality for IRPE was rare. These data suggest the need to target other clinically meaningful outcomes when examining advanced therapies for IRPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Cause specific mortality
  • Inpatient mortality
  • Intermediate risk pulmonary embolism
  • Submassive pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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