Early discharge and home treatment of patients with acute pulmonary embolism in the tertiary care setting

Link to article at PubMed

Intern Emerg Med. 2023 Sep 5. doi: 10.1007/s11739-023-03415-4. Online ahead of print.


Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially life-threatening disease. Current guidelines suggest risk-adapted management. Hospitalization is required for intermediate- and high-risk patients. Early discharge and home treatment are considered safe in the majority of low-risk patients. In this study, we describe characteristics, discharge, and outcome of outpatients diagnosed with acute PE at a tertiary care center. All outpatients undergoing computed tomography pulmonary angiography or ventilation/perfusion lung scan between 01.01.2016 and 31.12.2019 at the University Hospital Vienna, Austria, were screened for a PE diagnosis. Electronic patient charts were used to extract characteristics, clinical course, and outcomes. Within the 4-year period, 709 outpatients (median age: 62 years, 50% women) were diagnosed with PE. Thirty-three (5%) patients were classified as high-risk, 159 (22%) as intermediate-high, 332 (47%) as intermediate-low, and 185 (26%) as low-risk PE according to the European Society of Cardiology risk stratification. In total, 156 (22%) patients (47% with low-risk and 20% with intermediate-low-risk PE) were discharged as outpatients and received home treatment. Rates for home treatment increased 2.4-fold during the study period. Thirty-day mortality in the entire population was 4.9%. All low-risk patients and all but one patient with home treatment survived the first 30 days. Home treatment significantly increased over time and seems to be safe in routine clinical practice. Notably, one in five intermediate-low-risk patients was discharged immediately, suggesting that a subpopulation of intermediate-low-risk patients may also be eligible for home treatment.

PMID:37670173 | DOI:10.1007/s11739-023-03415-4

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