Pulmonary embolism in old age: usefulness of risk stratification in clinical decision-making

  • Carlo Bova | carbova@libero.it Department of Internal Medicine, Annunziata General Hospital, Cosenza, Italy.
  • Vitaliano Spagnuolo Department of Internal Medicine, Annunziata General Hospital, Cosenza, Italy.
  • Alfonso Noto Department of Internal Medicine, Annunziata General Hospital, Cosenza, Italy.

Abstract

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a common disease with a not negligible short-term risk of death, in particular in the elderly. An adequate evaluation of the prognosis in patients with PE may guide decision-making in terms of the intensity of the initial treatment during the acute phase. Patients with shock or persistent hypotension are at high risk of early mortality and may benefit from immediate reperfusion. Several tools are available to define the short-term prognosis of hemodynamically stable patients. The pulmonary embolism severity index (PESI) score, and the simplified PESI score are particularly useful for identifying patients at low risk of early complications who might be safely treated at home. The identification of patients who are hemodynamically stable at diagnosis but are at a high risk of early complications is more challenging. Current guidelines recommend a multi-parametric prognostic algorithm based on the clinical status, biomarkers and imaging tests. However an aggressive treatment in hemodynamically stable patients is still controversial.

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Published
2016-10-06
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Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
Pulmonary embolism, risk-stratification, mortality.
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How to Cite
Bova, C., Spagnuolo, V., & Noto, A. (2016). Pulmonary embolism in old age: usefulness of risk stratification in clinical decision-making. Geriatric Care, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/gc.2016.6080