Post-traumatic pulmonary embolism in the intensive care unit.
ABSTRACT To determine the predictive factors, clinical manifestations, and the outcome of patients with post-traumatic pulmonary embolism (PE) admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU).
During a four-year prospective study, a medical committee of six ICU physicians prospectively examined all available data for each trauma patient in order to classify patients according to the level of clinical suspicion of pulmonary thromboembolism. During the study period, all trauma patients admitted to our ICU were classified into two groups. The first group included all patients with confirmed PE; the second group included patients without clinical manifestations of PE. The diagnosis of PE was confirmed either by a high-probability ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan or by a spiral computed tomography (CT) scan showing one or more filling defects in the pulmonary artery or its branches.
During the study period, 1067 trauma patients were admitted in our ICU. The diagnosis of PE was confirmed in 34 patients (3.2%). The mean delay of development of PE was 11.3 ± 9.3 days. Eight patients (24%) developed this complication within five days of ICU admission. On the day of PE diagnosis, the clinical examination showed that 13 patients (38.2%) were hypotensive, 23 (67.7%) had systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), three (8.8%) had clinical manifestations of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and 32 (94%) had respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation. In our study, intravenous unfractionated heparin was used in 32 cases (94%) and low molecular weight heparin was used in two cases (4%). The mean ICU stay was 31.6 ± 35.7 days and the mean hospital stay was 32.7 ± 35.3 days. The mortality rate in the ICU was 38.2% and the in-hospital mortality rate was 41%. The multivariate analysis showed that factors associated with poor prognosis in the ICU were the presence of circulatory failure (Shock) (Odds ratio (OR) = 9.96) and thrombocytopenia (OR = 32.5).Moreover, comparison between patients with and without PE showed that the predictive factors of PE were: Age > 40 years, a SAPS II score > 25, hypoxemia with PaO(2)/FiO(2) < 200 mmHg, the presence of spine fracture, and the presence of meningeal hemorrhage.
Despite the high frequency of DVT in post-traumatic critically ill patients, symptomatic PE remains, although not frequently observed, because systematic screening is not performed. Factors associated with poor prognosis in the ICU are the presence of circulatory failure (shock) and thrombocytopenia. Predictive factors of PE are: Age > 40 years, a SAPS II score > 25, hypoxemia with PaO(2)/FiO(2) < 200, the presence of a spine fracture, and the presence of meningeal hemorrhage. Prevention is highly warranted.
- The Lancet 07/1960; 1(7138):1309-12. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients who have had major trauma are at very high risk for venous thromboembolism if they do not receive thromboprophylaxis. We compared low-dose heparin and a low-molecular-weight heparin with regard to efficacy and safety in a randomized clinical trial in patients with trauma. Consecutive adult patients admitted to a trauma center who had Injury Severity Scores of at least 9 and no intracranial bleeding were randomly assigned to heparin (5000 units) or enoxaprin (30 mg), each given subcutaneously every 12 hours in a double-blind manner, beginning within 36 hours after the injury. The primary outcome was deep-vein thrombosis as assessed by contrast venography performed on or before day 14 after randomization. Among 344 randomized patients, 136 who received low-dose heparin and 129 who received enoxaparin had venograms adequate for analysis. Sixty patients given heparin (44 percent) and 40 patients given enoxaparin (31 percent) had deep-vein thrombosis (P=0.014). The rates of proximal-vein thrombosis were 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively (P=0.012). The reductions in risk with enoxaparin as compared with heparin were 30 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 4 to 50 percent) for all deep-vein thrombosis and 58 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 12 to 87 percent) for proximal-vein thrombosis. Only six patients (1.7 percent) had major bleeding (one in the heparin group and five in the enoxaparin group, P=0.12). Conclusions: Low-molecular-weight heparin was more effective than low-dose heparin in preventing venous thromboembolism after major trauma. Both interventions were safe.New England Journal of Medicine 10/1996; 335(10):701-7. · 51.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chest computed tomographic (CT) scanning is used frequently to evaluate symptomatic patients for pulmonary embolus (PE). The incidence of PE diagnosed by helical CT scanning in asymptomatic patients is unknown. Asymptomatic trauma patients with an Injury Severity Score > or = 9 were studied with contrast-enhanced helical CT images of the chest, pelvis, and lower extremities. Clot burden was assessed using an anatomic scoring system. Patients not receiving anticoagulation were followed. Twenty-two of 90 patients had a PE. Four had major clot burden, including one patient with a saddle embolus. Risk factors for asymptomatic PE include age (odds ratio [OR], 1.04), head injury (OR, 6.78), chest injury (OR, 4.51), lower extremity injury (OR, 5.03), and transfusion (OR, 3.42). Thirty percent of patients receiving pharmacologic prophylaxis had a PE. Asymptomatic PE occur in 24% of moderately to severely injured patients. Age, head, chest, and lower extremity injury are associated with an increased risk. Standard thromboembolic prophylaxis is not reliably protective.The Journal of trauma 04/2004; 56(4):727-31; discussion 731-3. · 2.35 Impact Factor