Echocardiogram in the Evaluation of Hemodynamically Stable Acute Pulmonary Embolism: National Practices and Clinical Outcomes.

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Echocardiogram in the Evaluation of Hemodynamically Stable Acute Pulmonary Embolism: National Practices and Clinical Outcomes.

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Jan 03;:

Authors: Cohen DM, Winter M, Lindenauer PK, Walkey AJ

Abstract
RATIONALE: Societal guideline recommendations vary with regard to the role of routine trans-thoracic echocardiography (TTE) to screen for right ventricular strain in patients with hemodynamically-stable, acute pulmonary embolism (PE).
OBJECTIVE: To characterize national patterns in use of early TTE for the evaluation of patients with hemodynamically-stable, acute PE, and determine associations between TTE use and patient outcomes.
METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using Premier, Inc. database of approximately 20% of patients hospitalized in the United States with hemodynamically stable, acute PE between 2008-2011. Multivariable, risk-adjusted hierarchical regression models were used to evaluate hospital variation in use of TTE for PE and associations between hospital TTE rates and patient outcomes. Patient-level TTE exposure was used in sensitivity analyses.
RESULTS: We identified 64,037 patients (mean age 61.7 years, 54% women, 68% white) hospitalized at 363 US hospitals. TTE rates for hemodynamically-stable, acute PE varied widely among hospitals (median TTE rate 41.4%, range 0-89%, IQR 32.7-51.7%). Hospital rates of TTE were not associated with significant differences in risk-adjusted mortality (TTE rate quartile 4 vs. quartile 1: OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.69-1.13) or use of thrombolytics (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.84-1.96), but rates of ICU admission (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.18-2.07), hospital length of stay (RR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03-1.15) and costs (RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.07-1.23) were significantly higher at high TTE-rate hospitals. Analyses of patient-level TTE exposure produced similar results, except with higher rates of thrombolysis (OR 5.58, 95% CI 4.40-7.09) and bleeding (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.24-1.51) among patients receiving TTE.
CONCLUSIONS: TTE use in the evaluation of patients with hemodynamically-stable, acute PE varied widely between hospitals. Hospitals with high rates of PE-associated TTE use did not achieve different patient mortality outcomes, but had higher resource utilization and costs. Our findings support the 2016 American College of Chest Physicians guidelines for management of PE, which recommend selective, rather than routine, use of TTE to risk-stratify patients with hemodynamically-stable PE.

PMID: 29298088 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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