Single versus multiple and incidental versus symptomatic subsegmental pulmonary embolism: clinical characteristics and outcome

Yumiko Hirao-Try, Danielle T. Vlazny, Ryan Meverden, Damon E. Houghton, Ana I. Casanegra, David A. Froehling, David O. Hodge, Lisa G. Peterson, Robert D. McBane, Waldemar E. Wysokinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It remains unexplored if the clinical picture and outcome of subsegmental pulmonary embolism (SSPE) differ between single versus multiple, and incidental versus symptomatic embolism. Consecutive patients anticoagulated for SSPE at the Mayo Thrombophilia Clinic (03/01/2013–12/31/2020) were followed forward to assess venous thromboembolism (VTE) recurrence, mortality, major bleeding, and clinically relevant non-major bleeding (CRNMB); expressed as a rate per 100 person-years. Among 3878 VTE patients, 1541 had pulmonary embolism including 224 (14.6%) with SSPE either single (n = 139) or multiple (n = 85; 46 bilateral and 39 unilateral emboli); 134 had incidental and 90 symptomatic SSPE. Patients with single were less often symptomatic and less often had coexisting DVT than multiple SSPE. Patients with incidental had a two-fold higher frequency of cancer compared to symptomatic SSPE. During the study period, 1 patient with single and 2 with multiple SSPE had VTE recurrence (rate of 1.14 vs 3.63, p = 0.280). Single SSPE patients experienced 2 episodes of major bleeding (rate of 2.36) while the multiple SSPE group had no major bleeding. Seven patients in each group had CRNMB events (rate of 8.20 vs 13.58 for single and multiple SSPE, respectively, p = 0.282). Patients with single SSPE had a higher death rate compared to multiple SSPE (43.07 vs 22.22, p = 0.031) but no difference was noted after adjusting for cancer (p = 0.388). Also, incidental had similar clinical outcomes to symptomatic SSPE. Interpretation Anticoagulated SSPE patients with single and multiple as well as incidental and symptomatic have a different clinical profile but similar clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Incidental
  • Multiple subsegmental pulmonary embolisms
  • Single subsegmental pulmonary embolism single
  • Symptomatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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