How is nonmassive pulmonary embolism (PE) defined and what is the associated mortality rate?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Daniel R Ouellette, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Nonmassive pulmonary embolism is defined as having a systolic arterial pressure greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg. This is the more common presentation for pulmonary embolism and accounts for 95.5-96% of the patients. [39, 41]

Hemodynamically stabile pulmonary embolism has a much lower mortality rate because of treatment with anticoagulant therapy. In nonmassive pulmonary embolism, the death rate is less than 5% in the first 3-6 months of anticoagulant treatment. The rate of recurrent thromboembolism is less than 5% during this time. However, recurrent thromboembolism reaches 30% after 10 years. [30]


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