Thrombolytic therapy for pulmonary embolism.
ABSTRACT Thrombolytic therapy is usually reserved for patients with clinically serious or massive pulmonary embolism (PE). Evidence suggests that thrombolytic agents may dissolve blood clots more rapidly than heparin and might reduce the death rate associated with PE. However, there are still concerns about the possible risk of adverse effects of thrombolytic therapy, such as major or minor haemorrhages. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2006.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute PE.
For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Review Group searched their Specialised Register (last searched April 2009) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (last searched Issue 2, 2009). We also searched individual trial collections and private databases, along with bibliographies of relevant articles. Relevant medical journals were handsearched.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared thrombolytic therapy with placebo or heparin or surgical intervention in patients with acute PE. We did not include trials comparing two different thrombolytic agents or different doses of the same thrombolytic drug.
Two authors (DB and WQ) assessed the eligibility and quality of trials and extracted data.
We included eight trials, with a total of 679 patients, in this review. Results between thrombolytics compared with heparin alone or placebo and heparin were similar in terms of: a) death rate: odds ratio (OR) 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45 to 1.78; b) recurrence of pulmonary embolism: OR 0.63; 95% CI 0.33 to 1.20; c) major haemorrhagic events: OR 1.61; 95% CI 0.91 to 2.86; d) minor haemorrhagic events: OR 1.98; 95% CI 0.68 to 5.75.We found no trials comparing thrombolytic therapy to surgical intervention.Using recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and heparin together compared to heparin alone appeared to reduce the need for further treatment for in-hospital events (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.17 to 0.71).Thrombolytics improved haemodynamic outcomes, perfusion lung scanning, pulmonary angiogram assessment and echocardiograms to a greater extent than heparin alone.
Based on the limited evidence found we cannot conclude whether thrombolytic therapy is better than heparin for pulmonary embolism. More double-blind RCTs, with subgroup analysis of patients presenting with haemodynamically stable acute pulmonary embolism compared to those patients with a haemodynamic unstable condition, are required.
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ABSTRACT: To examine operative outcomes after acute pulmonary embolectomy (APE), a recently adopted, more aggressive surgical approach. We retrospectively identified patients who underwent surgical APE from April 1, 2001, through March 31, 2009, and reviewed their clinical records for perioperative outcome. Operations were performed with normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass and a beating heart, absent a patent foramen ovale. For completeness, embolectomy was performed via separate incisions in the left and right pulmonary arteries (PAs) in 15 patients. Of the 18 patients identified, the mean age was 60 years, and 13 patients (72%) were men. Thirteen patients (72%) had been hospitalized recently or had systemic disease. The preoperative diagnosis was established by echocardiography or computed tomography (or both). The median (range) follow-up time for all surviving patients was 16 months (2-74 months). Indications for APE included cardiogenic shock (n=12; 67%) and severe right ventricular dysfunction as shown by echocardiography (n=5; 28%). Seven patients (39%) had an embolus in transit. Seven patients (39%) experienced cardiopulmonary arrest before APE. Four early deaths (22%) occurred; all 4 of these patients had preoperative cardiopulmonary arrest, and 2 had APE via the main PA only, without branch PA incisions. Two late deaths (11%) occurred. Right ventricular function improved in all survivors. The results of emergent APE are encouraging, particularly among patients without cardiopulmonary arrest. It should not be reserved for patients in extremis; rather, it should be considered for patients with right ventricular dysfunction that is an early sign of impending hemodynamic collapse.Mayo Clinic Proceedings 09/2010; 85(9):785-90. · 5.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Combining therapeutic doses of low-molecular-weight heparins and increasing doses of recombinant activated protein C - Drotrecogin alpha (activated), or DAA - is of theoretical interest with regard to the control of coagulation activation. The study by Dempfle and colleagues presents new data showing that endogenous activated protein C levels do not increase in nonseptic patients with pulmonary embolism. However, the results of the addition of these two treatments are puzzling, leaving unresolved the questionable clinical relevance of this combination and the possible increase in bleeding risk.Critical care (London, England) 02/2011; 15(1):123. · 4.72 Impact Factor
Article: Thromboembolism.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism may occur in almost 2 in 1000 people each year, with up to 25% of those having a recurrence. Around 5% to 15% of people with untreated DVT may die from pulmonary embolism. Risk factors for DVT include immobility, surgery (particularly orthopaedic), malignancy, pregnancy, older age, and inherited or acquired prothrombotic clotting disorders. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments for proximal DVT? What are the effects of treatments for isolated calf DVT? What are the effects of treatments for pulmonary embolism? What are the effects of interventions on oral anticoagulation management in people with thromboembolism? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We found 45 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: anticoagulation; compression stockings; low molecular weight heparin (short and long term, once or twice daily, and home treatment); oral anticoagulants (short and long term, high intensity, abrupt discontinuation, and computerised decision support); prolonged duration of anticoagulation; thrombolysis; vena cava filters; and warfarin.Clinical evidence 01/2011; 2011.