Treating Large Pulmonary Emboli

Do the Guidelines Guide Us?

Ido Weinberg; Michael R. Jaff


Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013;19(5):413-421. 

In This Article


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common, affecting roughly 100 people per 100 000 population in the United States.[1] Furthermore, pulmonary embolism, which accounts for approximately one in three cases of VTE, is a leading cause of death in the Western world.[2] However, the presentation of pulmonary emboli is quite heterogeneous. Although some patients present with substantial hemodynamic compromise and grave consequences, others may be detected incidentally when an imaging study is performed for a different reason.[3] Treatment algorithms attempt to account for this variation by suggesting escalation of treatment after considering patient and pulmonary embolism characteristics.[4] Nonetheless, for many patients there is still paucity of data to guide treatment.