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Prognostic value of electrocardiographic findings in hemodynamically stable patients with acute symptomatic pulmonary embolism



Prognostic value of electrocardiographic findings in hemodynamically stable patients with acute symptomatic pulmonary embolism



Revista Espanola de Cardiologia 61(3): 244-250



The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic value of electrocardiography in hemodynamically stable patients with a diagnosis of acute symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE). This prospective study included all hemodynamically stable outpatients who were diagnosed with PE at a university hospital. The electrocardiographic abnormalities investigated were: a) sinus tachycardia (>100 beats/min); b) ST-segment or T-wave abnormalities; c) right bundle branch block; d) an S1Q3T3 pattern, and e) recent-onset atrial arrhythmia. The study included 644 patients. Overall, 5% of those with an ECG abnormality died due to PE in the 15 days after diagnosis compared with 2% of those with normal ECG findings (relative risk [RR]=2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1-5,8; P=.05). Multivariate analysis showed that sinus tachycardia was associated with a 2.2-fold increased risk of death due to all causes in the month after PE diagnosis. After adjusting for age, a history of cancer, immobility, ECG abnormalities, and sinus tachycardia, the presence of recent-onset atrial arrhythmia was significantly associated with death due to PE in the first 15 days (RR=2.8; 95% CI, 1-8.3; P=.05). The negative predictive value of atrial arrhythmia for 15-day PE-related mortality was 97%, while the negative likelihood ratio was 0.79. In hemodynamically stable patients with acute symptomatic PE, the presence of sinus tachycardia and atrial arrhythmia were independent predictors of a poor prognosis. However, the usefulness of these factors for stratifying risk in PE patients is limited.

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Accession: 055213989

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 18361897

DOI: 10.1016/s1885-5857(08)60111-5


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