Management of pulmonary embolism in ICU

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According to a recent review in the Annals of Intensive Care, management of pumlonary embolism is now recommended from diagnosis algorithm and indication to admission in ICU to indication of thrombolysis and general hemodynamic support in patients with shock. Given at current dosage, thrombolytic therapy is associated with a reduction in the combined end-point of mortality and hemodynamic decompensation in patients with intermediate-risk PE, but this is obtained without a decrease in overall mortality and with a significant increase in major extracranial and intracranial bleeding. In patients with high-intermediate-risk PE, thrombolytic therapy should be given in case of hemodynamic worsening. Vena cava filters are of little help when anticoagulant treatment is not contraindicated, even in patients with PE and features of clinical severity. Finally, direct oral anticoagulants have been shown to be as effective as and safer than the combination of low molecular weight heparin and vitamin K antagonist(s) in patients with venous thromboembolism and low- to intermediate-risk PE.

Pulmonary Embolism

Proposal for hemodynamic management in high-risk PE

*in the absence of contraindication; **may improve the coupling between the right ventricle and the pulmonary circulation by increasing the RV contraction and decreasing the pulmonary vascular resistance.

Full test of paper is available at PubMed Central.

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