Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2020 Jan-Dec;26:1076029620967760. doi: 10.1177/1076029620967760.
Among patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), various permutations of normal or abnormal cardiac troponin results and normal or abnormal echocardiographic right ventricular function are encountered in clinical practice. We aimed to explore whether there is a true gradient of risk based on troponin and echocardiographic results. This study included normotensive patients with PE from the PROgnosTic valuE of CT scan in hemodynamically stable patients with acute symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PROTECT) study. Patients were categorized as having -Troponin/-Echo, -Troponin/+Echo, +Troponin/-Echo, and +Troponin/+Echo. The primary outcome was 30-day "complicated course," including death from any cause, hemodynamic collapse, or recurrent PE. Secondary outcomes included individual adverse event rates. Of the 834 patients who had echocardiographic and troponin results, 569 patients (68%) had -Troponin/-Echo, 126 patients (15%) had -Troponin/+Echo, 74 patients (8.9%) had +Troponin/-Echo, and 65 patients (7.8%) had +Troponin/+Echo. The incidence of 30-day complicated course was 4.6% in patients with -Troponin/-Echo, 11.9% in patients with -Troponin/+Echo, 13.5% in patients with +Troponin/-Echo, and 16.9% in patients with +Troponin/+Echo (P for trend <0.001). In the subgroup of patients with a high-risk sPESI (i.e., intermediate-risk according to the ESC guidelines) (n = 527), the incidence of 30-day complicated course was 14.9% in patients with -Troponin/+Echo, 18.5% in patients with +Troponin/-Echo, and 17.5% in patients with +Troponin/+Echo (P for trend <0.01). In patiens with PE, there seems to be a risk gradient based on troponin and echocardiographic results. This study did not detect a significant risk difference in those with +Troponin/-Echo compared with -Troponin/+Echo.