What is the efficacy of thrombolytic therapy for pulmonary embolism (PE)?

Updated: Dec 31, 2017
  • Author: Wanda L Rivera-Bou, MD, FAAEM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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More recent studies (eg, PEITHO study) suggest that fibrinolysis may be associated with a slight reduction in overall mortality in patients with intermediate risk of PE, but this is offset by a significant increased risk of major bleeding. [32] A reduced dose of fibrinolysis may potentially improve hemodynamic status with a low risk of major bleeding. [32]

One study suggested that using low-dose tissue plasminogen activator (tPA; ie, “safe dose” thrombolysis) is safe and effective in the treatment of moderate PE, reducing the risk of bleeding and maintaining its benefits. [33]

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