The Resolution Rate of Pulmonary Embolism on CT Pulmonary Angiography: a Prospective Study
M Ak, S Gumus, A Aghayev, C H Chang 4, B Fu, M S Roberts, P K Woodard, K T Bae
Eur J Radiol . 2022 Aug 10;155:110466. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2022.110466. Online ahead of print.
Purpose: To prospectively assess the rate of clot resolution from CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) in patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE).
Materials and methods: This prospective cohort study included 290 patients (136 men, 154 women; mean age, 51.9 years) with acute PE. All patients had a CTPA at the presentation and had at least one follow-up within 6 months (mean 72.7 days). Sixty-four percent of patients had follow-up scans for research purposes within a pre-determined period (between 28 and 184 days; mean, 78.27 days) and 36 % had (between 2 and 184 days; mean, 62.78 days) for a clinical indication. The volume of each clot was measured using a semi-automated quantification program. The resolution rate was evaluated by interval-censored analysis.
Results: The overall estimated probability of complete resolution was 42 % at 7 days, 56 % at 10 days, and 71 % at 45 days. Achieving complete resolution was significantly faster in patients with peripheral clots (HR: 1.78; CI: 1.05-3.03, p = 0.032) but slower in patients with consolidation and history of venous thromboembolism (VTE), (HR: 0.37; CI: 0.18-0.79, p = 0.01 and HR: 0.57; CI: 0.35-0.91, p = 0.019, respectively). Although the patients with cancer showed a faster resolution rate (HR: 1.67; CI: 1.05-2.68, p = 0.032), the mortality rate was significantly higher than non-cancer patients.
Conclusion: The resolution rate of clot burden in acute PE was associated with patients' clinical presentation variables and CTPA imaging biomarkers. This information may be incorporated into designing a prediction rule and determining the appropriate duration of anticoagulation therapy in patients with acute PE.
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